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Health

North Baltimore residents cautioned over rabies cases

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Baltimore health officials are asking North Baltimore residents to be wary of potentially rabid animals after euthanizing three of them over the past month.

Residents are advised to ensure pets are vaccinated for rabies and to keep a safe distance from wildlife. Animals with rabies often show strange behavior, such as aggressiveness in pets or friendliness in wild animals, or staggering, drooling or paralysis, but can transmit the rabies virus through saliva without showing symptoms.

Rabid animals found include:

• A cat in the 300 block of Rossiter Avenue, in the Radnor-Winston neighborhood near the Notre Dame of Maryland University campus;

• A cat in the unit block of Warrenton Road in Tuscany-Canterbury; and,

• A fox in the 1100 block of Bellemore Road in North Roland Park.

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 in humans can cause drooling, convulsions, fever and muscle spasms. Prophylactic treatment given after animal bites is effective at preventing rabies infection.

In February, an Army veteran at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda became the first person in Maryland 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.

sdance@baltsun.com

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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