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A raccoon has tested positive for rabies in the vicinity of the Todd Village Trailer Park in Finksburg, according to the Carroll County Health Department, and officials are urging area residents to exercise caution.

According to a health department news release, several feral cats known to frequent the trailer park and surrounding area might have had contact with the rabid raccoon and contracted rabies, which can then be spread to humans via cat bites, scratches or contact between the cat's saliva and an open wound.

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Those living in the area of the trailer park are urged to keep away from any feral cats and to contact the health department if they or anyone they know have been bitten or scratched by a cat in the area, according to the release.

They can reach the health department at 410-876-4771 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the Emergency Communication Center after hours at 410-386-2260.

Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous systems of all mammals, according to the release, and is always fatal once symptoms have begun. Seeking treatment immediately after possible contact with a rabid animal could save lives.

Reach staff writer Jon Kelvey at 410-857-3317 or jon.kelvey@carrollcountytimes.com.

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