FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — Two cats from different areas of Frederick County tested positive for rabies, according to the Frederick County Health Department.

On May 1, the county’s health department received reports from the Maryland Department of Health Rabies Labratory.

The first cat, from a Catholic Church Road near Burkittsville is described as a short-haired black female.

The second cat was located on 7th Street across from the shopping center and is described as a long-haired black cat with a white stripe down its back.

Both cats attacked their victims and were picked up by animal control officers on April 28.

Anyone who may have had contact with the cats since April 14 should consult a health care provider and notify the county’s health department by calling 301-600-3342. If a pet had contact with the infected animals, consult a vet.

Rabies is a viral diseased that primarily infects mammals and is spread through saliva, like a bite.

Symptoms include fear of water, excessive salivation, failure to eat or drink, limping and aggressive behavior.

Barry Glotfelty, the director for the health department’s environmental health services, said “to protect your family from possible rabies exposure, do not touch or play with wild or stray animals and make sure your current pets are vaccinated.

Alley Cat Allies, a cat advocacy organization based in Bethesda, said residents need to use common sense and best practices when dealing with outdoor cats.

“There has not been a single case of a human catching rabies from a cat anywhere in the U.S. since 1975, so rabies does not represent a major health threat. When it comes to community cats, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the best practice and sound public health policy,” Becky Robinson, Alley Cat Allies president and founder, wrote in a statement.

Call Animal Control at 301-600-1544 to report contact with a stray or wild animal.

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