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A dead raccoon discovered by a dog in the Woodbine area on Oct. 25 tested positive for the rabies virus, county health officials say, making it at least the third rabid raccoon found in Carroll in the past week.

The animal was located near Hoods Mill Road east of Md. 97, near the South Branch of the Patapsco River, according to a Wednesday news release from the Carroll County Health Department.

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The dog that discovered the rabid raccoon carcass was current on the rabies vaccination, but received booster shots because of possible exposure to the raccoon’s saliva.

“Since the dog is up to date on its rabies shots, it only needs to have an at-home quarantine of 45 days, as opposed to 4 months for dogs who are not vaccinated. The dog’s owners were not exposed and do not require any treatment,” according to the release.

The notice is the second released in the past few days after a “lethargic” raccoon in Taneytown and an “active and aggressive” raccoon that bit a human in Sykesville both tested positive for the rabies virus, according to an Oct. 24 news release from the Carroll County Health Department.

They ask people to be vigilant about exposure to the rabies virus through interacting with a diseased animal. Bites, scratches or contact with saliva can spread the virus through a human or animal’s eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound.

Anyone who may have had contact with the raccoon is asked to call the Health Department at 410-876-1884 for more information and a risk assessment.

Though rabies is an urgent issue, it is not an emergency, and treatment can begin several days after exposure, according to the release.

Raccoons are the most common carrier of rabies in Maryland. Rabies also occurs in feral cats, skunks, foxes, and bats, as well as some other animals.

“It’s important to keep your pets vaccinated, because they often interact with wildlife, and some animals may be carrying the rabies virus,” according to Joe Mancuso, rabies program manager at the Health Department. “The Health Department offers two low-cost rabies vaccination clinics each year to help county residents keep their pets vaccinated.”

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