RABID RACCOON FOUND IN WESTOVER
(Westover, MD) – A raccoon located near Perry Road and US Route 13 in Westover has tested positive for Rabies. The raccoon was sent to the MD State Laboratory for testing after a fight with a dog. The raccoon was collected Monday, October 16, 2023, submitted for testing Tuesday, October 17, 2023, and the positive test results were received Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
Once infected, rabies is a virus that has a 100% fatality rate when left untreated, in mammals including humans. The Somerset County Health Department reminds everyone to take 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 four 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.
- Instruct children 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 four 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.
All animal bites or scratches should be reported to the Somerset County Health Department at 443-523-1700 during business hours (Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm) and 443-859-4419 after hours. Only you can protect your family and pets from the deadly rabies virus. For more information, visit somersethealth.org.