Fox being tested for rabies, June 21, 2019

HEALTH DEPARTMENT TESTING FOX FOR POSSIBLE RABIES IN SOMERSET COUNTY

 Westover, Md. – On June 21, 2019, a fox was sent to the state lab for testing to determine if it has rabies. The fox was picked up in the Westover/Fairmount area in Somerset County. The Somerset County Health Department is advising all residents to be aware of their surroundings and avoid contact with all wild or stray animals. Animals with rabies often show changes in behavior, but an infected animal can appear healthy.

Rabies is a preventable viral disease that exists in the saliva of mammals and is transmitted from animal to animal or from animal to human by biting and/or scratching. The virus can also be spread by licking, when infected saliva makes contact with open cuts or wounds, and with the mouth, eyes, and nose. If left untreated in humans and animals, rabies is fatal. If a person has been bitten or scratched by a possible rabid animal, he or she should seek immediate medical care. 

Please keep the following tips in mind to protect your family and your pets:

  • Keep pets confined
  • Avoid all contact with wild or stray animals
  • Teach children to leave unfamiliar animals alone
  • Vaccinate pets. Maryland law requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets, 4 months of age and older have a current rabies vaccination. 
  • Avoid feeding or watering pets outside
  • Secure outside garbage lids

To report human or animal contact, such as bites or scratches, call the Somerset County Health Department at 443.523.1700. 

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