The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire says an injured cat left at their door had rabies and the organization is trying to find who else may have been exposed to the animal.
The league says the female gray tabby was left at the shelter in Bedford on March 9. The cat may have recently given birth to kittens. It was quarantined, but later died and tested positive for rabies.
State health officials said although rabies is fatal, human infections are extremely rare in the United States.
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"Rabies is a fatal illness that is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal," said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Abigail Mathewson. "But rabies is preventable when people and animals receive treatment quickly after they have been exposed to this virus through infected animal saliva."
Officials are investigating the potential for other animal or human exposure to the cat before it was dropped off at the shelter.
Anyone with questions about rabies can call the New Hampshire Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496. Additional information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.