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Feral Cat Found In East Pittsburgh Tests Positive For Rabies

frank eltman
In this Friday, April 1, 2016 photo, a feral cat hides in a wooded area near a beach parking lot at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, N.Y.

A feral cat found in the Pittsburgh area has tested positive for rabies, authorities said Wednesday.

The Allegheny County health department said the cat was recently brought to the department's laboratory after if was picked up in the borough of East Pittsburgh.

Four animals have tested positive for rabies in the county so far this year: a bat, a cat, a groundhog and a raccoon the department said. Last year, 25 animals were confirmed to have rabies in the county: a dozen raccoons, nine bats, two cats, a fox and a groundhog.

Rabies is a virus transmitted by an animal bite or scratch; exposures are almost always fatal when left untreated. Residents are being warned to avoid stray animals and wildlife, even if the animals appear healthy.