A stray cat collected by Frederick County Animal Control from the Brunswick Family Campground after reports that it bit and scratched multiple people has tested positive for rabies, according to a news release Wednesday from the Frederick County Health Department.
Animal Control removed the cat from the campground Friday and quarantined it until Tuesday, at which point it was tested for rabies because it was exhibiting common symptoms.
The Health Department recommended that anyone who may have had contact with the cat -- described as solid gray with short hair and wearing a frayed and faded sparkly pink collar when it was picked up -- between Aug. 24 and Sept. 3 consult their health care provider and notify the department’s Community Health Services Office at 301-600-3342. Many of those exposed on Sept. 3 were trying to free the cat’s leg from its collar, the release said.
The department also recommended that anyone with a pet who had contact with the cat consult their veterinarian and notify the Environmental Health Office at 301-600-1717.
“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,” environmental health director Barry Glotfelty said in the release.
Rabies is a viral disease spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually by a bite, according to the release. It’s almost always fatal to humans without prompt post-exposure treatment.
Symptoms in animals may include fear of water, excessive salivation, failure to eat or drink, limping, unusually friendly or aggressive behavior or other abnormal behaviors like nocturnal animals emerging in the daytime, according to the release.
The department has asked anyone who’s had contact with a stray or wild animal, or who owns a pet that has, to contact Frederick County Animal Control at 301-600-1544.