• France edition
 
Ten treated in France after rabid kitten find
This is not the kitten in the article. File photo: Energetic Spirit/Flickr

Ten treated in France after rabid kitten find

Published: 01 Nov 2013 17:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Nov 2013 08:36 GMT+01:00

A further five people have been given preventive treatment for rabies after coming into contact with a kitten that died of disease which is potentially deadly to humans, French authorities said on Friday, bringing the total to ten people.

The kitten of about two-months-old was adopted on October 25th from the streets of Argenteuil, about 15 kilometres northwest of Paris.

But three days later, it died and its owners contacted a vet who decided to test it for the disease, local government official Gilles Prieto said.

"The kitten was displaying aggressive behaviour. It bit and scratched its owners," he said.

The kitten was confirmed to have rabies, which France says has been officially eradicated from its territory since 2001. The strain of virus found had apparently stemmed from Morocco.

"Five people who were in contact with the kitten have been identified" and given preventive treatment, the health and agriculture ministries said in a joint statement.

Another five people were on Friday found to have come into contact with the kitten and were also set to receive preventative treatment.

To avoid any contamination a public information unit has been set up and an epidemiological probe has been launched to track any other people who may have come into contact with the sick animal.

Authorities are now trying to determine how the kitten got to Argenteuil. No other cases of animals showing similar symptoms have been reported.

"The most likely theory is that it was brought back with a family coming from Morocco a few weeks ago," said Prieto.

If this was true the risk of an epidemic is limited as cats tend to stick to a radius of one kilometre, he added.

The last case of rabies originating from within French territory was in December 1998 when a sick fox was found. Since then, cases have been sporadic and strains of the virus originating from elsewhere.

In 2008 a dog imported from Gambia was found to have rabies.

Only 10 countries and regions in the world are listed as rabies-free. Some 55,000 people die of the disease worldwide every year.

Symptoms in humans include seizures, partial paralysis, fever and brain inflammation, or encephalitis.

There is no known treatment to cure rabies once the infection has taken hold.

AFP/The Local (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Orient Express offers journey back in time
Photo: AFP

Orient Express offers journey back in time

The Orient Express lets out a whistle and a chug, just as it did 130 years ago when it pulled out of Paris's Gare de Strasbourg on its inaugural journey to Istanbul. READ () »

French football
Berbatov brilliance for Monaco makes PSG wait
Photo: AFP

Berbatov brilliance for Monaco makes PSG wait

Dimitar Berbatov's delightful goal gave Monaco a 1-0 win against Nice on Sunday to leave Paris Saint-Germain's title celebrations on ice while Ajaccio's relegation was confirmed with defeat at Bastia. READ () »

Assad using chemical weapons: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande pictured on April 20th 2014. AFP Photo: Thomas Samson

Assad using chemical weapons: Hollande

France has "information" but no firm proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is still using chemical weapons, President Francois Hollande said Sunday. READ () »

PSG on course for double after cup triumph
PSG's galaxy of stars celebrate their French League Cup win over Lyon. AFP Photo/Franck Fife

PSG on course for double after cup triumph

Paris Saint-Germain won France's League Cup on Saturday, beating Lyon 2-1 in the final at the Stade de France to secure the first leg of a likely domestic double. READ () »

Freed journalists back on French soil
Francois Hollande welcomes French journalists Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres at the Villacoublay air base southwest of Paris. AFP Photo/Thomas Samson

Freed journalists back on French soil

Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria arrived home on Sunday to an emotional reunion with family and colleagues after spending 10 months in captivity in the world's most dangerous country for the media. READ () »

French reporters held captive in Syria set free
Didier Francois, Edouard Elias, Pierre Torres and Nicolas Henin. AFP Photo / Chris Huby/ Haytham Pictures/ Torres Family / Benoit Schaeffer

French reporters held captive in Syria set free

Four French journalists held captive in Syria for almost a year were free and "in good health" on Saturday, President Francois Hollande told AFP, saying they would be back in France within hours. READ () »

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown
Europe-wide search for missing French girl ends in her hometown. Photo: AFP

Euro hunt for French girl ends in her hometown

A Europe-wide hunt for a missing 15-year-old French girl ended in her hometown on Friday where she was located with a 48-year-old family friend who was suspected of abducting her. Police believed the friend was suicidal. READ () »

French MP proposes puppy custody law
A French lawmaker wants puppies looked after in case of a divorce. Photo: Robbee/Flickr

French MP proposes puppy custody law

Who gets custody of a dog after a divorce? A French lawmaker has proposed a bill to create a legal framework to answer precisely that and other tricky questions surrounding pets. READ () »

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right
A mosque in the Paris suburbs has gotten a threat tied to the recent election of far-right National Front mayor. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Threat letter to French mosque praises far right

After pork products turned up in the mailbox of a suburban Paris mosque along with a threatening letter praising the town's recently elected far-right National Front mayor, muslims are concerned about a "worrying" local shift. READ () »

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires
Hundreds of Velib' bike tires slashed in 'slavery' protest. Photo: Cyril Folliot/AFP

'Slavery' protesters slash hundreds of Velib' tires

Far-left activists slashed the tires on over 360 Velib’ bikes in Paris this week in protest of the ‘slave’ labour the programme’s operator uses to repair vandalized bikes. The vandals could themselves end up 'slave' labour. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
VIDEO: Take a look inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
Education
French parents are the most laidback about their kids' education. True?
Tech
What do French TV viewers complain about the most? Yes it's English
Business & Money
French tax declarations: The key points to remember
Gallery
French slang: Everyday words you need to know (but use cautiously)
National
Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh neighbourhood
International
VIDEO: ‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France. See why.
Features
Buying property in France? Here's 10 things you need to think about
National
What will the future map of France look like? The answer lies within.
Politics
'The 27 French regions aren't the problem, it's the 36,000 towns'
Culture
Ex underage call girl Zahia picked to embody Marie Antoinette
Gallery
Buying a house in France? Ten things you need to think about
Advertisement:
National
France bans work emails after 6pm! Sadly it's not quite true.
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why don't the French do charity? Is it down to taxes?
Society
VIDEO: The Paris zoo is back but this time the animals are in charge
National
This will be the most expensive road in France - Only €1.66bn for 12km!
Society
Only in France? Gourmet pensioners party lands village in hot water
National
What's the worst thing to do when you realise you're on the wrong train?
From showers to kissing: Anglos tell Twitter what's weird about France
National
'A big quake will hit France and there will be casualties' - Scientist warns
Culture
After all the dozens of books is France still worth writing about?
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Opinion
Paris or the suburbs - where would you live?
National
VIDEO: Walk the line - crossing the Seine on a tightrope
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se