SALISBURY, Md.- Wicomico County Health Department officials are reminding the public to stay away from feral cats after a fox tested positive for rabies in the Boundary Street area of Salisbury.
According to Rudolph Drummond, the program manager for the Joseph House at 812 Boundary St., not only did the fox possibly come in contact with some stray of feral cats, but it had some close calls with people as well.
"The fox attacked one of our employees and one of our residents," Drummond said. "Luckily, they weren't bitten or scratched but immediately we called the animal control."
Officials said the fox was known to share common food sources with the feral cats in the area. Feral cats pose a serious public health threat through the spread diseases such as rabies, cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, toxoplasmosis, bartonellosis (cat scratch fever) and salmonellosis, officials said. They said these diseases are known to cause serious illness and in some cases, if left untreated, are fatal.
Drummond said there were a few feral cats that would hang out around the workshop at the Joseph House and would be fed from time to time. However, after the rabid fox was found, the feeding has stopped. In fact, some at the Joseph House have been a little on edge since the fox's capture.
"Well, of course. Even some of our guys are kind of cautious about how they come outside and are looking around. So we want to make sure that we do everything we can to keep that spread of rabies down," Drummond said.
Residents are urged to refrain from feeding feral cats and to remove all food sources in the area. If anyone or their pets came into contact with this fox, contact the Wicomico County Health Department at (410) 546-4446.