Howard County's animal control shelter will be closed to adoptions for the next two weeks because of an aggressive ringworm outbreak among animals at the shelter, Howard County police announced Thursday. 

Officials said the shelter is closed because ringworm, a fungal skin infection, can spread to people who come in contact with affected animals. 

Adoptions from the shelter, at 8576 Davis Road in Columbia, will resume June 19, according to the police department. In the meantime, the animal control facility will remain open for other business, including lost and found animals and citizen complaints. 

Officials said animals with ringworm symptoms, including hair loss and rash, are being quarantined and treated. Animals without any symptoms are being tested to see if they have a dormant infection. 


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All animals will receive the first step of ringworm treatment while the shelter awaits test results, which can take up to seven days, officials said. Animals who test positive will continue to receive treatment. 

Shelter staff are also removing animal bedding and toys, sterilizing surfaces with a bleach solution and replacing air filters weekly, according to the police department.