Authorities in France have reported that a kitten has been diagnosed and confirmed with rabies.
The kitten was found on 25 October 2013 in the town of Argentueil, Val d’Oise, to the northwest of Paris. See a detailed map of the location. The kitten died on 28 October 2013. It was about 2 months old, and white, black and tan in colour.
Public Health officials are currently in the process of identifying and risk assessing all those who may have had contact with the kitten or its mother between 13 and 28 October 2013, and also to determine if any other animals were in contact or are affected. Public Health England’s risk assessment will be updated as further information becomes available.
France has been rabies free since 2010, when it regained this status following an incident where rabies was transmitted from an imported dog. Investigations are ongoing to determine where this kitten was infected.
Anyone who has been bitten, licked or scratched by a kitten or cat in this area of France since 13 October 2013 is urged to seek medical advice.
Dr David Brown, Director of the Virus Reference Department for PHE said:
Those travelling to this area of France should avoid contact with wild and domestic animals. If they are licked, scratched or bitten by a wild or domestic animal they should wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and seek urgent medical advice either in France, or on their return from their GP or NHS Direct.