The Health Department says it attacked at least one person.
Frederick, Md (KM). The Frederick County Health Department says a cat recently found in the Libertytown area has tested positive for rabies. “The cat was found back behind the 7/11 in Libertytown. It did actually attack somebody from our understanding. And it was black and white, domestic short-haired unaltered young male cat,” says Alicia Evangelista, Program Manager for the Community Services Office in Environmental Health Office.
She says the cat was picked up by Animal Control Officers behind the store on Monday, July 3rd. The Maryland Department of Health Rabies Laboratory determined that the feline had rabies.
Evangelista says if you’ve had contact with this cat since June 19th, you’re urged to call your physician or health care provider to get tested for rabies. You’re also asked to get in touch with l the local Health Department’s Community Health Services Office at 301-600-3342.
As for your pets, “If the pet is bitten, and we don’t have the animal and they’re up to date on their rabies shots, we’ll go through the case with the person. And if they need to, they can take them to the vet,” says Evangelista. “But we’ll have them keep a watch on their pet for 45-days to make sure that they remain healthy.”
Rabies is a viral disease which primarily affects mammals (warm-blooded animals) and is spread through the saliva of the infected animal through a bite. While it’s difficult to tell if an animal has the disease without examining it, Evangelista says there are some symptoms rabid animals display. “Some of the behaviors you might be looking for are nocturnal animals out during the daytime, the aggressiveness, they could be limping,” she said. Other symptoms include infected animal’s fear of water, excessive salivation, unusually friendly behavior, or animals failing to eat or drink.
Rabies is usually fatal to humans who contract it.
The Health Department urges anyone who sees a stray animal on their property not to approach, or attempt to contain it. Call Frederick County Animal Control at 301-600-1544 and report it.
By Kevin McManus