The French government issued a health alert today after a rabid kitten was found in a western suburb of Paris - the first such Anyone who might have been in contact with the two-month-old stray cat in the suburban town of Argenteuil was advised to come forward for vaccination against rabies. Five people, including a woman who was bitten while trying to feed the brown, white and black kitten, have already received treatment.
The last case of rabies detected in France was in 2001. No human death from rabies has been recorded in France since 1929.
French authorities believe that the kitten, or its mother, must have been brought illegally into the country from abroad. It died Ali, part of a family which tried to befriend the kitten, spoke yesterday to the website of the newspaper, le Parisien. "We found it in our street and it seemed weak," he said. "My sister found it to be very aggressive. I was uneasy so I put gloves on to handle it but my wife didn't. She was bitten."