There's a reason why experts from more than 8 states just rushed to the Midwest to investigate a little kitten. Reports say a rare form of rabies was just located in this small animal and it's something that every Missouri and Illinois pet owner should be aware of.

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You might recall that we shared a story 10 days ago about a mystery illness that is affecting many Illinois dogs. Now, there's something else for Missouri and Illinois pet owners to be concerned about. MSN is reporting that a very rare form of rabies was just detected in a kitten in Omaha, Nebraska.

Sadly, the little kitten died just 48 hours after this rabies was detected. The MSN report says it was "a strain of raccoon rabies that had never been detected west of the Appalachian Mountains".

How can you tell if your cat has rabies?

If you're a Missouri or Illinois cat owner, watch this. It's a cat who is very aggressive and disoriented that was confirmed to have rabies.

The experts that went to Nebraska to investigate the kitten rabies event at first thought it had to be a mistake. This form of rabies is almost never detected in this part of America. Sadly, their worst fears were confirmed. If accurate they said "the rabies strain would make its way to South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas".

The US Department of Agriculture called this rabies strain found in the Midwest "a nine-alarm fire". The origin has to be found and the virus stopped before a disaster for pets and people happens.

As this is a developing story, it will be updated once new information is discovered.

Animals in Which Rabies is Most Commonly Found

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in North America rabies is most commonly found in bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and mongoose. It is also found in cats, cattle, and dogs. The CDC says that rabid bats have been found in every state except for Hawaii. Rabid mongoose have been found in Puerto Rico.

Rabies is easily transmitted from animals to other animals, including human beings. Human cases are rare in the United States, but deadly if not caught in time.

Gallery Credit: Kristine Bellino