(Westover, MD) – A stray cat located on the 4000 block of Crisfield Highway in Crisfield, 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 Thursday, May 21, 2020. The cat is described as a white/gray domestic shorthair cat. Anyone that has come into contact with a cat fitting that description in the specified area should contact the Somerset County Health Department at 443-523-1700 during business hours or 443-859-4419 after hours.
Once infected, rabies is a virus that has a 100% fatality rate when left untreated, in mammals including humans. The Health Department 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 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 rabid animals must be given a booster rabies vaccination within five days of the contact.
Only you can protect your family and pets from the deadly rabies virus. For more information, please call the Somerset County Health Department at 443-523-1700 or visit www.somersethealth.org