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Health officials warn of rabies exposure from cat in Milford Mill

Baltimore County health officials found a rabid cat in the Milford Mill area and are looking for anyone who may have been exposed to the animal.

The feral cat was gray, tan and white and lived among a group of other cats near Rhonda Court. The animal has since died of rabies.

Health officials are seeking anyone who may have had exposure to the cat between March 28 and April 12. They are also encouraging neighbors to keep pets – particularly cats – indoors as they attempt to capture the other feral cats in the neighborhood.

Rabies is a deadly disease but can take months to present itself in humans. The virus is transmitted through saliva, typically through an animal bite, and can cause drooling, convulsions, fever and muscle spasms. Prophylactic treatment given after animal bites is effective at preventing rabies infection.

A Maryland resident in February became the first person in the state to die of rabies since 1976. It was later found that the person contracted rabies through an organ donation from an Air Force service member who contracted the virus after being poisoned by a fish.

Health officials advise keeping distance from wild animals and consulting a veterinarian before adopting any feral or stray animals. Health officials also recommend vaccinating pets for rabies.

sdance@baltsun.com

twitter.com/ssdance

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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