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2 raccoons in Anne Arundel County test positive for rabies

The department of health says anyone who comes in close contact with wild animals should report the encounter to local health officials.

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — Reports of rabid foxes and coyotes roaming and attacking individuals and pets across the D.C. region have abounded in recent months. Now, raccoons have joined the menagerie. 

Anne Arundel County residents are asked to be on alert after two raccoons were found to be rabid - one of which attacked a pet.

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is seeking residents who may have come in contact with a raccoon in the area of Pasadena or Severna Park.

The Department of Health learned of a raccoon attacking a pet on June 4 on Laico Lane near the intersection of Dock Road in Pasadena, Maryland. The pet's owner killed the raccoon, and the usually nocturnal animal tested positive for rabies. 

On the same day, another raccoon tried to attack a pet in the 400 block of Adams Lane behind Severna Park High School. According to the health department, that raccoon also was killed by the pet's owner before the attack could happen. 

If you or your pet have been exposed to a suspected rabid animal, contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7254. After hours, contact the department at 443-481-3140.

Rabies can be spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal, such as a raccoon, fox, groundhog, cat or bat. It also can be spread when the saliva of an infected animal comes in contact with the mouth, nose, eyes or open cut of a person or another animal. 

Rabies is a fatal disease, and preventative treatment (injections) should start as soon as possible. Preventive treatment may be required for anyone who fed, handled or was attacked by a wild animal. 

The department of health also advises county residents to not feed wild or stray animals or leave food dishes outside. Pet owners should also keep their animals’ rabies vaccinations current.

RELATED: Rabies: Symptoms, testing and treatment options

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