18 Confirmed Cases of Rabies in Worcester County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

18 Confirmed Cases of Rabies in Worcester County

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OCEAN CITY, Md.– The Worcester County Health Department is warning people living in and visiting Ocean City to immediately report any aggressive wildlife to police or animal control officers. This includes raccoons, foxes, skunks, and feral cats.

There has been 18 confirmed cases of rabies, and 15 other suspected cases, according to the Worcester County Health Department. Anne Almand lives in the area, health officials say the bulk of the cases have happened: Ocean City.

"He was in pretty bad shape at that point.He was not moving," said Almand. She added, "He seemed to be in shock. His face was severely destroyed.The vet told us whatever it was, it took his face off. His teeth was missing and his eye was out. So he was in pretty bad shape."

Almond said her dog didn't survive after being mauled by a rabid animal.

"That dog was my life," said Almand. "I had him for 13 years. He was my bestfriend and my very loyal companion. It's really heart-breaking, devastating."

The health department has received several reports of aggressive raccoons approaching or attacking people and pets in north Ocean City, particularly in the area of 85th to 130th streets. 

Health officials confirmed a rabid raccoon attacked one person on June 18 and behaved aggressively toward two others.

Health officials say humans exposed have received treatment for rabies and pets have either been quarantined or euthanized.

"Worcester County is on track to exceed the previous two years in rabies confirmed cases and going back to a higher level, we saw in 2010," said Dr. Andrea Mathis, of Worcester County Health Department.

Doctor Mathias said rabies should be taken very seriously. "Rabies once confirmed in a human is uniformly fatal, 100% fatal," said Dr. Mathias.

If a pet has contact with a wild animal, do not touch the pet with bare hands.  If you find wounds from a possible attack, treat it as if your animal could have rabies.  Report the incident to the health department and your veterinarian.

For more on minimizing your risk of rabies exposure, visit http://worcesterhealth.org.

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