A ringworm outbreak at the Animal Care Facility in Coronado has resulted in a 10-day quarantine at the facility, city officials announced Thursday.
According to officials, several city employees and a facility volunteers were infected with the skin fungus after coming into contact with an infected feral cat.
Animal Care Facility staffers became aware of the infection after several employees noticed ringworm on their skin. All of the individuals were seen by a doctor and are now being treated.
“It is part of the peril of having a facility that accepts all animals, including feral cats,” said Coronado Police Cmdr. Laszlo Waczek, who oversees the Animal Care Facility. “You can’t see it unless you’re looking for it.”
The quarantine on the facility – which is located at 1395 1st Street -- will be lifted on Sept. 14. Until then, the facility will be open to the public but with some rules in place, including no public contact with any animals, no adoptions and no dog walking near the facility.
In the meantime, the City of Coronado has conducted a thorough cleaning of all kennels, and all animals at the shelter have been bathed with special medicated shampoo. The animals will be further evaluated during the quarantine period in order to identify whether or not they have been infected by the ringworm outbreak.
In addition, all new animals brought into the shelter over the next 10 days will be separated from the current population to prevent further infections.
The infected feral cat has been quarantined and is being treated. When it recovers, the facility will place the cat up for adoption.
According to the Animal Care Facility, ringworm is typically spread through skin-to-skin contact with a person or animal. The fungal skin infection typically starts out looking like a small red dot and then slowly gets larger, often taking on a pattern that resembles a ring. It’s usually accompanied by dry, flaky skin, itching and a rash. It’s treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or oral medications.