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Cat Test Positive for Rabies in Frederick County
FREDERICK, MD – On May 19, 2022, the Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) received a report that a stray cat captured on Martin Road, in Smithsburg, Frederick County, Maryland, tested positive for the rabies virus. Martin Road is located close to Wolfsville Elementary School. The cat was found on May 17, 2022, acting oddly and suffering from a wound of unknown origin. The cat is described as a female, older adult, domestic short hair, very light brown tabby with missing fur on the tops of her feet.
The FCHD recommends that any people who may have had contact with this cat between May 2, 2022, and May 17, 2022, consult their health care provider and notify the FCHD’s Community Health Services Office at 301-600-3342. If any pets had contact with the cat, consult with your veterinarian and notify the FCHD’s Environmental Health Office at 301-600-1717.
Rabies is a viral disease that mainly infects mammals and is spread through the saliva of the infected animal, usually by a bite. Symptoms of rabies in animals may include fear of water, excessive salivation, failure to eat or drink, limping, unusually friendly or aggressive behavior, and/or other atypical behaviors such as nocturnal animals emerging during the daytime. The disease is nearly always fatal to humans if infected and no prompt post exposure treatment is had.
Barry Glotfelty, Director for FCHD’s Environmental Health Services, advises, “Mammals, such as cats, can be infected with the rabies virus so do not touch or play with unknown animals, and make sure your pets are vaccinated.” If you or your pets have contact with a stray or wild animal, report it to Animal Control at 301-600-1544.