Snow Hill, MD- Worcester County Health Department has confirmed a kitten tested positive for rabies last week.
While all potential contacts to the rabid kitten have been identified, this case serves as a reminder to residents the importance of rabies awareness and proper pet vaccination.
Rabies is an ongoing issue in Worcester County and affects local wildlife. The animals most frequently confirmed with rabies are raccoons, followed by foxes, skunks, groundhogs and cats. Cats are the number one domestic animal species most likely to be unvaccinated and are at a higher risk of exposure to rabid wildlife while outdoors.
Worcester Health offers the following tips for avoiding contact with rabies this summer:
- Have your dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinated against rabies regularly and keep those vaccinations current in accordance with the law. (Especially outdoor cats).
- Do not let your pets roam free - they are more likely to have contact with a rabid wild animal.
- Avoid feeding your animals outside; this draws stray and wild animals to your doorstep. (If you must feed outdoors, do not leave the food out overnight and clean up any spillage.) Cover your garbage cans securely.
- Avoid sick animals and those acting in an unusual manner and teach your children not to approach wild animals and animals they don’t know.
- If your pet has contact with a wild animal, avoid touching your pet with bare hands (wear gloves) and do not touch the wild animal. Report the incident immediately to the Health Department or your local police in order to arrange testing of the wild animal, if available, and consult your veterinarian.
For more information about rabies, please visit our website at http://www.worcesterhealth.org.