Rabies Exposures and Animal Bite Investigations PDF Print E-mail
Environmental Health Program
Isle of Wight Center
Phone: 410-641-9559
Hours: 8 am to 4:30 pm
After Hours: Call your local law enforcement agency or 911


If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, or if you find a bat in the living area of your home, or your pet has been exposed to a rabies suspect animal such as raccoons, foxes, skunks, opossums, groundhogs, stray cats, contact our office for further assistance.

Rabies Exposures

(click on the brochure below to learn more)


 • If you see a wild animal, such as a raccoon, skunk, fox, groundhog, opossum, or a feral cat behaving in a  threatening or obviously sick manner or should your pet be involved in an altercation with one of those animals –  REPORT IMMEDIATELY to your local police department or Sheriff’s office. 
  • Prevent further contact by keeping pets and people away.  If a pet or person has already had contact, it is  important that the rabies suspect animal be obtained (safely) for rabies testing. 
  • If a pet has had contact, DO NOT TOUCH the pet barehanded. Make sure the Health Department is contacted  for further instructions, if contact has occurred.  Your pet’s veterinarian may also be contacted for further advice.


Bats and Rabies

People usually know when they have been bitten by a bat. However, because bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen, there are situations in which you should seek medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound.

If you find a bat in the living space of your home, and do not know when or how it got in, contact our Office immediately for a risk assessment at 410-641-9559 and do not release the bat. After hours, contact your local police department or dial 410-632-1311 for further assistance.

For assistance with bat colonies not inside the living area of the home (attics, eves) contact Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service call   1-877-463-6497 or visit their website at: www.dnr.md.us

To learn more about the dangers of exposure to bats and rabies, visit: www.cdc.gov

(click on the brochure below to learn more)


Confirmed Rabid Animals in Worcester

While raccoons make up the vast majority of confirmed rabid animals in Worcester County (and in Maryland), other species are also infected. Many people are not aware that the most frequent domestic animals to contract rabies are cats. 

Year Total Confirmed Species
2015 10  10 raccoons
2014 23  18 raccoons, 1 fox, 1 bat, 2 cats, 1 skunk
2013 46  40 raccoons, 3 foxes, 1 groundhog, 1 bat, 1 dog
2012 19  16 raccoons, 2 foxes, 1 groundhog
2011 16  11 raccons, 2 skunks, 2 groundhogs, 1 cat
2010 26  18 raccoons, 6 foxes, 2 cats
2009 52  45 raccoons, 5 foxes, 1 opossum, 1 cat

Many of these confirmed rabid animals, as well as many other suspect animals that were unable to be tested, had contact with pets or people. It is extremely important that pets' rabies vaccinations stay current and that these encounters are reported so that testing and proper rabies risk assessments can be made for the people and pets involved.

  • For a line by line listing of confirmed and suspect rabies investigations for 2015, click here.
  • For a line by line listing of laboratory confirmed positive rabies cases and suspect positve rabies investigations for 2014, click here.
  • Worcester County map of Laboratory Confirmed Rabid Animals found 2009-2014, click here.
  • For a line by line listing of laboratory confirmed positive rabies cases and suspect positive rabies investigations for 2013, click here.
  • For more information about rabies in Maryland, visit www.dhmh.maryland.gov



Rabies Clinics

Maryland and Worcester County laws require current rabies vaccinations for all cats, dogs and ferrets four months and older. Rabies vaccinations (shots) are available at any veterinary clinic and should be a part of your pet's routine health care.

The Worcester County Health Department together with Worcester County Animal Control offers rabies clinics throughout the county. 

The next clinics will likely be in the fall of 2015 (this website will be updated as soon as clinics are scheduled), or you may call Animal Control at 410-632-1340 or our office at  410-641-9559 for updated information.

The cost per pet is $5 for Worcester County residents and $10 per pet for non residents. Please bring proof of residency. Dogs must be on leashes and under the control of an adult. Cats and ferrets must be in carriers with air holes. In order to receive a 3 year booster shot you must bring your pet’s previous vaccination certificate.

This information is provided by the Environmental Health Program.




Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 09:53


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