FREDERICK, MD — On Friday, September 3, 2021, Frederick County Animal Control (FCAC) collected a cat from the Brunswick Family Campground in Brunswick, Maryland, after reports of multiple people getting bitten or scratched.  The cat was in quarantine at FCAC until Tuesday, September 7, 2021, when it was sent for rabies testing due to exhibiting signs consistent with rabies.

The cat is described as a solid gray shorthair cat and was wearing a frayed and faded sparkly pink collar at the time it was picked up.  The FCHD recommends that any people who may have had contact with this cat between August 24, 2021, and September 3, 2021, consult their health care provider and notify the FCHD’s Community Health Services Office at 301-600-3342.  Many of those exposed on September 3 were attempting to help get the cat’s leg out of its collar. If any pets had contact with the cat, consult with your veterinarian and notify the FCHD’s Environmental Health Office at 301-600-1717.

Rabies is a viral disease that mainly infects mammals and is spread through the saliva of the infected animal, usually by a bite.  Symptoms of rabies in animals may include fear of water, excessive salivation, failure to eat or drink, limping, unusually friendly or aggressive behavior, and/or other atypical behaviors such as nocturnal animals emerging during the daytime.  The disease is nearly always fatal to humans if infected and no prompt post exposure treatment is had.

Barry Glotfelty, Director for FCHD’s Environmental Health Services, advises, “Mammals, such as cats, can be infected with the rabies virus so do not touch or play with unknown animals, and make sure your pets are vaccinated.”   If you or your pets have contact with a stray or wild animal, report it to Animal Control at 301-600-1544.  

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