BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A rabies warning, as rabid animals were found in three Baltimore City neighborhoods. And this time it isn’t just wild animals being infected.
Monique Griego has more on the danger.
In wooded neighborhoods like Roland Park, it’s common to see wild animals and therefore more cases of rabies. But this time, two cats also tested positive for the virus.
“It is kind of scary though, it really is,” said Scott Kagan, neighbor.
Kagan’s neighborhood in the 300-block of Rossiter Avenue is in one of three areas recently linked to rabid animals.
“Two cats and one fox that were found in three adjacent zip codes in Baltimore City,” said Mary Beth Haller, assistant commissioner for Environmental Health.
One cat was found on Rossiter Avenue, the other on Warrenton Road and a rabies infected fox turned up in the 1100-block of Bellemore Road.
City health leaders say both cats were strays.
“I’m surprised about a cat. I see a lot of racoons running around,” Kagan said.
While wooded neighborhoods like this tend to have more wildlife, and therefore likely more rabies cases, rabies in cats is extremely uncommon.
“These are the only cats in years, even in memory, in Baltimore City,” said Haller.
Rabies is most commonly spread through the saliva of an infected animal. City health leaders fear a domesticated animal may contract the virus and spread it to a human. So they’re asking people here in these neighborhoods to take precautions.
“When I walk them at night I stay in my own yard and I carry my flashlight with me to boot,” Kagan said.
Animals with rabies may become aggressive, stagger, drool or become paralyzed. If left untreated, the virus is fatal in animals and humans.
Health leaders now urging people in affected areas to get their pets vaccinated and to report, but not approach, any animals with symptoms.
“Stay away from them. As far away as possible,” neighbor Joseph Green said.
If you see an animal acting unusual and think it may be infected with rabies, you can call 311 for Animal Control.
All three of the rabid animals have been euthanized. If you or your pet come into contact with rabies, go to the vet or hospital as soon as possible for a vaccination.