FILE PHOTO – rabid cat not pictured
A stray cat that was picked up by animal control in Frederick on Jan. 2 later tested positive for rabies, the Health Department announced Tuesday.
The cat is an older black domestic short-haired female that “appeared sick” before it was captured. It was found on Mains Lane.
The Health Department is asking anyone who thinks they may have had contact with this cat from Dec. 19 through Jan. 2 to notify the county’s Community Health Services Office at 301-600-3342, and talk to their health care provider.
If you think your pet may have had contact with the cat in the same time frame, consult your veterinarian and call the county’s Environmental Health Office at 301-600-1717.
Symptoms of rabies in animals can include fear of water, excessive saliva, not eating or drinking, limping, and unusually friendly or aggressive behavior. Only a handful of people have ever survived rabies without a vaccination, and the post-exposure vaccine doesn’t work once the victim starts displaying symptoms.
However, after a case of an 8-year-old California girl who survived rabies in 2011, the ASPCA told ABC News that “contracting rabies from a feral cat is extremely rare.”
“To protect your family from possible rabies exposure, do not touch or play with wild or stray animals and make sure that your pets are currently vaccinated,” said Barry Glotfelty, director of the Frederick Health Department’s Environmental Health Services division.