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Raccoon reported to have rabies

July 11, 2004

The Humane Society of Washington County reported its fourth rabid animal case since Christmas 2003.

On June 30, a raccoon killed by two dogs on John Brown Lane in Knoxville, Md., tested positive for rabies, according to a press release.

It's the second reported rabies case in the Knoxville area this year, humane society officials said.

The dogs were current on their rabies vaccination and, according to Washington County Environmental Health Department guidelines, will require a rabies vaccination booster and a 45-day quarantine.

The other two rabies incidents occurred on Dorsey Road south of Williamsport and on National Pike near Big Pool.

Rabies is a deadly disease that attacks the nervous system. Once the virus reaches the brain, it is fatal and there is no cure, according to the press release. Contracted mainly through bites, rabies also can be spread through open wounds, breaks in skin and mucous membranes such as the lining of the eyes, nose and mouth.

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Humane society officials recommend that anyone scratched or bitten by a wild or domestic animal seek immediate medical care, confine the animal when possible and report the encounter immediately to the local animal control agency or health department.

For protection against rabies exposure, the humane society recommends avoiding contact with wild animals, securing trash in animal-proof containers and securing openings in your home.

Protect pets by having them vaccinated. This includes horses and other farm animals. Humane society officials also recommend confining your pets to your property and not feeding your pets outside. Maryland law requires dogs, cats, and ferrets more than four months old be vaccinated against rabies.

Humane society officials recommend all bites or encounters with wildlife be reported to the Washington County Environmental Health Department by calling 301-791-3270, the Humane Society of Washington County at 301-733-2060 or your local animal control or law-enforcement agency.

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