Cat found positive for rabies; Alert for residents
According to the Carroll County Health Department, a stray cat who acted strangely and attacked a child tested positive for the rabies virus.
The gray-and-white short-haired domestic cat lived on Union Bridge in Carroll County near Hoff Road. Since the cat was a stray cat who sometimes visited a home in the area, the health department is concerned that other people may have been exposed to the rabies virus. “Exposure to rabies is through bites and scratches or saliva from the infected animal getting in a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, or wound,” said Joe Mancuso, rabies program manager for the public health department.
Anyone who has been exposed to bites, scratches, or saliva from a gray and white short-haired domestic cat in this area can call the health department at 410-876-1884 for more information and a risk assessment. If your pet may have interacted with this cat, you can also request a risk assessment.
Rabies in feral cats is not uncommon in Maryland. Rabies is also common in raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. “Watch for wildlife and animals you may not be familiar with from afar, and keep your pets vaccinated,” advised Mancuso. “If you see a sick, wounded animal, or one that is acting strangely, call Animal Control at 410-848-4810.”
To protect yourself, your family, and your pets from rabies:
- Do not approach, treat, or feed any wild or stray animals.
- Have your dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated against rabies and keep your vaccinations up to date. The health department hopes to be able to offer its inexpensive rabies vaccination clinics again this autumn.
- Do not leave pets outside unattended or let them roam free.
- Cover the bins tightly and do not leave pet food outside.
- Teach the children to stay away from wild animals and animals they do not know.
- Prevent bats from entering your home by using window grilles and chimney caps. Bats found in the household should be safely collected and tested for rabies whenever possible.
- If you come across a wild or stray animal that is sick, injured, or acting strange, call Animal Control (410-848-4810). If you need to move the animal, use gloves or a device – do not handle an unfamiliar animal directly.
- If you or your pet has been bitten or scratched by a wild or stray animal, wash the area with soap and water for a few minutes. Keep your pet away from other people and pets. Then call your doctor or veterinarian and contact the health department (410-876-1884).
For more information: https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/rabies.aspx
The Carroll County Health Department website is at http://cchd.maryland.gov and you can follow them on Facebook.
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