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Health Department: Raccoon in Woodbine area tests positive for rabies

Posted: 7:51 PM, Oct 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-30 19:51:57-04
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WESTMINSTER, Md. — A raccoon was found dead in the Woodbine area on October 25 according to the Carroll County Health Department. That raccoon has tested positive for the rabies virus.

The raccoon was found near Hoods Mill Road, near the South Branch of the Patapsco River by a dog. Because the dog may have been exposed to the saliva, it received booster shots. The dogs owners were not exposed.

The Health Department wants to be sure that any individual who may have interacted with this raccoon before it died assess their risk or their pet’s exposure to the rabies virus.

“Rabies exposure occurs through bites and scratches or saliva from an infected animal getting into a person’s or an animal’s eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound,” said Joe Mancuso, Rabies Program Manager at the Health Department. “We want to be sure that anyone who may have been bitten, scratched, or exposed to saliva by this raccoon contact the Health Department.”

Anyone who may have interacted with this raccoon, or thinks a child or pet could have been exposed to this raccoon, can call the Health Department at (410) 876-1884 for more information and a risk assessment.

Though rabies is an urgent issue, it is not an emergency, and treatment can begin several days after exposure.

Raccoons are the most common carrier of rabies in Maryland. Rabies is also occurs in feral cats, skunks, foxes, and bats, as well as some other animals.

“It’s important to keep your pets vaccinated, because they often interact with wildlife, and some animals may be carrying the rabies virus,” advised Mancuso. “The Health Department offers two low-cost rabies vaccination clinics each year to help county residents keep their pets vaccinated.”

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