(Salisbury, MD) – A stray cat located on the 8000 block of Bi-State Blvd in Delmar, MD has tested positive for Rabies. The cat was sent to the MD State Laboratory for testing after exhibiting aggressive symptoms and biting a person. The positive test results were received Monday, August 13, 2018. The cat is described as a brown tiger domestic shorthair cat. Anyone that has come into contact with a cat fitting that description in the specified area should contact the Wicomico County Health Department at 410-546-4446 during business hours or 410-543-6996 after hours.
Once infected, rabies is a virus that has a 100% fatality rate when left untreated, in mammals including humans. Wicomico Health recommends the following precautions to protect yourself and your family from possible exposure to rabies:
· Report any sick or strange acting wildlife
· Vaccinate pets and livestock. Maryland law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age. Vaccinating your domestic animal not only provides protection for the animal, but vaccinated pets act as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people.
· Do not feed wildlife or stray animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home.
· Do not feed strays.
· Do not approach an unknown animal, either wild or domestic, especially if it is acting in a strange or unusual manner.
· Keep garbage cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food outside.
· Children should be instructed to tell an adult immediately if they were bitten or scratched by any animal. If an unvaccinated pet comes in contact with rabid or suspected rabies the pet must be quarantined for six months.
· Vaccinated pets that come in contact with rabid or suspected rabies animal must be given a booster rabies vaccination within five days of the contact.
All animal bites or scratches should be reported to the Wicomico County Health Department at (410) 546-4446 during business hours and 410-543-6996 after hours.
Only you can protect your family and pets from the deadly rabies virus. For more information, please call the Wicomico County Health Department, Environmental Health Division at 410-546-4446 or visit www.wicomicohealth.org.