Rabies virus is spread through the saliva of infected animals. People often become infected after a deep bite or scratch.
Prince George’s County, MD – The Prince George’s County Health Department says a rabid raccoon was recently found in Clinton, Maryland.
Officials say the rabid animal was found alive but near death in the 13100 block of Gallahan Road on Monday, April 11. It was described as light brown with multiple lesions. The raccoon was sent for a rabies test which came back positive on Wednesday, April 13.
Now the health department is trying to trace any person who may have come in contact with the infected animal. If you or someone you know contacted a raccoon in the area between March 26 and April 11, contact the Department of Health immediately at (301) 583-3750.
Rabies virus is spread through the saliva of infected animals. People often become infected after a deep bite or scratch. The virus can be prevented by giving four doses of rabies vaccine over a period of 14 days.
“Rabies is often a life-threatening disease; however, it is highly preventable by initiating treatment soon after exposure. Treatment is determined by the type of animal exposure and the patient’s evaluation,” said Prince George’s County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter said. “Rabies is spread through the saliva of an infected animal and is easily transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. The best way to eliminate the risk of rabies is to avoid contact with unfamiliar animals. We encourage community members to report any unusual or erratic animal behavior they observe and to avoid handling and feeding any unknown animals in their community.”
Every year, more than 29 million people receive the rabies vaccine after being bitten by an animal. The World Health Organization says rabies deaths are rarely reported globally, but children between the ages of five and 14 are most often victims.
Symptoms of fiery rabies may include:
HyperactivityExcitatory Behavior Hydrophobia (Fear of Water) Aerophobia (Fear of Drafts or Fresh Air) Fever Headache NauseaVomiting AgitationAnxiety Delusions Difficulty Swallowing Excessive Saliva Hallucinations InsomniaPartial Paralysis
If you have been bitten by an animal, wash the wound for at least 15 minutes with soap and water, detergent, povidone iodine, or other substances that remove and kill the rabies virus. After washing the wound, report the bite to your local animal control agency. Be sure to identify and observe the animal, but don’t risk re-exposure and go to the nearest emergency room to get medical attention right away.
Now, his parents are asking the owners to come forward and provide medical information about their dog so that Charlie can avoid further treatment.