The Prince George’s County Health Department is warning residents that a rabid raccoon was found this week in Clinton.
Authorities said the rabid mammal was found in the 13100 block of Gallahan Road “on or around Monday.” It was described as light brown, and near death with several unknown wounds.
On Wednesday, the Maryland Department of Health confirmed the raccoon tested positive for rabies.
The Health Department asks that if you know of any people or animals that may have had contact with the raccoon between March 26 and April 11, please call 301-583-3750 immediately.
“Rabies is often a life-threatening disease; however, it is highly preventable by beginning post-exposure treatment immediately following exposure,” Dr. Ernest Carter, Prince George’s County Health Officer, said in a statement. “Treatment is determined by the type of animal contact and patient assessment.”
He added, “Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal and is easily transmissible through a bite of an infected animal. The best method to eliminate the risk of rabies exposure is to avoid contact with unfamiliar animals. We encourage community members to report any unusual or erratic animal behavior they notice and to avoid handling and feeding any unknown animals in their community.”
The Prince George’s County Health Department recommends the following if you’ve been bitten or exposed to an animal that might be rabid:
- If it is a wild animal, try to trap it if you can do so safely. If the animal must be killed, try not to damage the head.
- If it is an owned animal, get the animal owner’s name, address and telephone number.
- Immediately wash the wound well with soap and water; if available, use a disinfectant to flush the wound.
- Get prompt medical attention.
- Immediately report the exposure to your local animal control agency, health department, or police.
- Consider treatment if a bat was present and exposure cannot be reasonably ruled out (e.g., a sleeping person awakens to find a bat in the room, or an adult sees a bat in the room with a previously unattended child or mentally disabled or intoxicated person).