Cat found positive for rabies; alert for area residents
According to the Carroll County Health Department, a stray cat that was acting strangely and attacked a child has tested positive for the rabies virus.
The grey and white domestic short-haired cat lived in the Union Bridge area of Carroll County near Hoff Road. Because it was a stray cat who sometimes visited a home in the area, the Health Department is concerned that additional people may have been exposed to the rabies virus. “Rabies exposure occurs through bites and scratches or saliva from the infected animal getting into a person’s eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound,” said Joe Mancuso, Rabies Program Manager at the Health Department.
Anyone who may have been exposed to bites, scratches, or saliva from a grey and white domestic short-haired 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 may also call for a risk assessment.
Rabies in feral (wild) cats is not uncommon in Maryland. Rabies is also common in raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. “Observe wildlife and animals you don’t know from a distance, and keep your pets vaccinated,” advised Mancuso. “If you see a sick or wounded animal, or one that is acting strangely, call Animal Control at 410-848-4810.”
To keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe from rabies:
- Do not approach, handle, or feed wild or stray animals.
- Have your dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinated against rabies and keep their vaccinations up-to-date. The Health Department hopes to resume offering their low-cost rabies vaccination clinics this fall.
- Do not leave pets outside unattended or allow them to roam free.
- Cover garbage cans tightly and do not leave pet food outside.
- Teach children to stay away from wild animals and any animals that they do not know.
- Prevent bats from entering your home by using window screens and chimney caps. Bats found in the home should be safely collected, if possible, and tested for rabies.
- If you encounter a wild or stray animal that is sick, injured, or acting strangely, call Animal Control (410-848-4810). If you must move the animal, use gloves or an implement – do not handle any strange animal directly.
- If you or your pet have been bitten or scratched by a wild or stray animal, wash the area with soap and water for several minutes. Keep your pet away from other people and pets. Then call your physician 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’s website can be found at http://cchd.maryland.gov and you can follow them on Facebook.
Here is the area noted above: