A raccoon collected in the Dorchester neighborhood in Waldorf tested positive for rabies. There have been several positive rabies tests from wildlife collected within Charles County over the past few months.
We urge everyone to avoid contact with wildlife and unknown animals. A current rabies vaccination for your pet is vital.
Rabies is a disease of animals and people. The virus is spread through the saliva of a rabid animal. Usually this occurs when a rabid animal bites or scratches another person or animal. However, secondary exposure can occur from saliva on the coat or fur of an animal that was exposed to a rabid animal. The virus can get into the body through open cuts or wounds, or through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Domesticated animals like dogs, cats, and ferrets can get rabies from wild animals such as raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats, opossums, etc. Vaccinating your pets against rabies will prevent them from getting infected with rabies. Livestock may also be infected with rabies. You should contact your veterinarian for rabies information and vaccination for livestock. It is important to teach your children to stay away from wild and unknown animals.
Please report any animal bites or potential rabies exposures to the Charles County Department of Health at (301) 609-6751 or Charles County Animal Control at (301) 932-2222 and seek medical attention promptly.