|Rabies Exposures and Animal Bite Investigations|
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.
|2013-to date||44||38 raccoons, 3 foxes, 1 groundhog, 1 bat, 1 dog|
|2012||19||16 raccoons, 2 foxes, 1 groundhog|
|2011||16||11 raccoons, 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.
- Worcester County map of Laboratory Confirmed Rabid Animals found 2008-2012, click here..
- For more information about rabies in Maryland, visit http://ideha.dhmh.md.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/rabies.aspx
The Worcester County Health Department together with Worcester County Animal Control offers rabies clinics throughout the county. Call Animal Control at 410-632-1340 or our office at 410-352-3234 (or 410-641-9559 from Pocomoke) to ask about our upcoming clinics. The next round of clinics will be held in the spring 2014.
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. If this is not your pet's first vaccination, please bring proof of previous vaccination.
Maryland and Worcester County laws require rabies vaccinations for all cats, dogs and ferrets four months and older.
General Information about Rabies
Does this sound like you, or somebody you know? Do you know where your pets’ rabies shot certificates are, or are they 'somewhere with all the other stuff'? Rabies is a deadly disease and once obvious symptoms appear, it is nearly always deadly. Dogs, cats, and ferrets over the age of 12 weeks are all required to get their rabies shot. Click on picture to the left to read the brochure.
Until raccoon rabies spread to the general East Coast in the 1980s – a result of hunters unknowingly introducing sick raccoons from Florida, rabies was less of a threat to our pets and wildlife. However, the days of the ‘easy keeper barn cats’ are over. Stray cats have become the fourth highest carrier of rabies in the state of Maryland, a natural link between wildlife and people. Stray cats compete with raccoons for food, and cat food left outside for poor ‘Tomcat’ is likely also keeping ‘Rocky Raccoon’ fat and happy – and neither will let you know when they return to your doorstep rabid…
Worcester County Animal Control along with Worcester County Environmental Health, work to offer low-cost rabies shot clinics. Each year clinics are held at various locations in the county in an effort to reach as many of our pet owners as possible. The clinics are open to everyone; however, out-of-county residents pay a higher fee.
When the first rabies shot is given, your pet will start building its own protection against the rabies virus and will be considered protected 28 days later. This initial shot is only good for one year. The following year most pets will receive a booster shot which, if proof of previous rabies shot is given, will usually be good for a three-year period.
Bats and Rabies
People do not 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. For example, if you awaken and find a bat in your room, see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, contact our Office at 410-641-9559. 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 at www.dnr.md.us/wildlife. Search for "bats in houses." Or call 1-877-463-6497.
To learn more about the dangers of exposure to bats and rabies, visit www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/education/
This information is provided by the Environmental Health Program.