Rabid raccoon attacks man in Ocean City

June 20, 2013|By Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, The Baltimore Sun

A man in north Ocean City was attacked on Tuesday by a raccoon that later tested positive for rabies.

According to the Worcester County Health Department, a citizen reported the attack by "an aggressive raccoon" near Northside Park at 125th Street and the Bay. Health officials said they believe two other people were also charged by the same raccoon.

The raccoon was captured and terminated after testing positive for rabies, officials said. The man is being treated for his injuries and exposure to the disease.

"Rabies is an ongoing issue in Worcester County," Worcester County health officials said, adding that animals most frequently infected by the disease are raccoons, foxes, skunks, groundhogs and cats.

To guard against exposure to rabies for people and pets, health officials recommend these five steps:

1. Vaccinate pets and keep vaccinations current since the rabies vaccine has a limited time for protection.

2. Don't feed pets outdoors. Pet food or even the odor of the food can atttract wildlife.

3. Secure trash cans and dumpster lids to prevent animals from foraging for food.

4. Remove strays, particularly cats, from the community. The cats compete for food with wildlife and have the opportunity for frequent exposure to rabies.

5. Report to authorities any wild animal or stray that is behaving abnormally or aggressively.

For more information, contact the Worcester County Health Department at worcesterhealth.org.

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