Cecil County Health Department reports that a cat collected by Cecil County Animal Services on Friday, June 23 has tested positive for rabies. This cat was described as a small to medium sized white cat with one blue eye. The stray
cat was collected from the same residence near the Brewster Bridge/Elk Mills Road area where an individual had been attacked by a different stray cat earlier this month.
This is the second confirmed rabid stray cat this year. In January, a stray cat from the Port Deposit area tested positive for rabies and in May, a raccoon from the Chesapeake City area. The Cecil County Health Department submits animals to the Maryland State Laboratory for rabies testing when either citizens or their pets/livestock are exposed to wild animals or domestic animals that cannot be held for quarantine.
Rabies is a fatal disease in both humans and animals. Incidents such as this reinforce that rabies is present in Cecil County and stray animals can be dangerous. Cats pose a more significant risk of contracting rabies than dogs because they cover large areas when hunting and are more likely to have an encounter with a rabid wild animal that goes unnoticed.
The best protection against rabies is to keep all pets vaccinated against the disease and to avoid contact with wild and stray animals. Anyone bitten or scratched by an animal should contact their family physician or hospital emergency room for medical attention and for initiation of proper follow-up procedures, if necessary.
If anyone feels that they may have been exposed to this cat in the 10 days prior to June 23, they should contact their physician or Cecil County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Program at 410-996-5100.