By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Oct. 10, 2019) A rabid raccoon was captured last month at Decatur Farms, making this the 16th rabies case of 2019 in Worcester County.
The raccoon was caught in a trap on Sept. 28 on Schooner Lane in the Decatur Farms neighborhood off Route 113 in Berlin, according to the Berlin Police Department.
Angela Richardson, rabies program coordinator for the Worcester County Health Department, said 26 confirmed cases of rabies occurred in 2018, with10 reported situations in 2017 and 14 instances in 2016.
“This is similar to the pattern over the past several years,” Richardson said.
If wild animals, including a raccoon, skunk, fox, or feral cat, are “behaving in a threatening or obviously sick manner,” that could constitute a red flag, Richardson said.
Anyone who sees any rabid animal behavior in Berlin, or if a pet is involved in an altercation with an animal suspected of rabies, that person should call the town’s police department at 410-641-1333.
Richardson also suggested contacting the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1111.
If a pet does make contact with an infected animal, people should not touch the pet barehanded, Richardson said. She also recommended that the pet owner notify the health department and the pet’s veterinarian.
Several area fire departments will hold rabies vaccine clinics for animals next week, according to the county health department. Vaccinations cost $5 for Worcester County residents, who will need to show proof of residency, and $10 for other participants.
Those interested can visit the Showell Fire Department from 5:30-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the facility on 11620 Worcester Highway to get their pets vaccinated.
The Stockton Fire Department will also host a clinic from 5:30-7 p.m. on 1501 Snow Hill Road.
For more information about the rabies clinics, call 410-641-9559 or 410-632-1340.
To learn more about rabies, visit the county health department website at www.worcesterhealth.org.
The Berlin Police Department also recommended calling the Worcester County Environmental Health Department at 410-352-3234 for more information about rabid animals.