LEONARDTOWN, MD (May 31, 2022) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has been notified of a raccoon with behavior suspicious of rabies and a history of biting a person near the intersection of 27350 Three Notch Road and New Market Turner Road in Mechanicsville, Maryland.

Anyone who may have been bitten by a raccoon in this area on or after May 28, 2022, should seek urgent medical attention at their local emergency department. In general, any person who has been bitten by a wild animal such as a raccoon, skunk, bat, or fox should wash their wound immediately with soap and water, and consult with a healthcare provider about their risk for rabies and whether post-exposure prophylaxis would be appropriate.

Rabies is a potentially fatal virus that is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. When appropriate, treatment started as soon as possible after an animal bite or rabies exposure can be life-saving.

Please report any animal bites or potential rabies exposures involving people to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008. Suspected animal bites to pets or livestock should be reported to St. Mary’s County Animal Control at (301) 475-8018 [after hours: (301) 475-8016].

As a general reminder, the following precautions will help protect your pets and family members from rabies:

  • Be sure your pet has up-to-date rabies shots. Maryland law requires that all cats, dogs, and ferrets four months and older have current rabies shots. Low-cost rabies clinics are provided by SMCHD and St. Mary’s Animal Welfare League (SMAWL) from March to November.
  • Keep pets in your home or yard and walk them on a leash.
  • Never approach touch, or feed animals unknown to you.
  • Do not feed pets outdoors. Pet food and other food sources such as unsecured garbage cans may attract unwanted and unhealthy animals into your yard.

SMCHD investigates reports of animal bites and, based on the outcome of the investigation, refers the affected person(s) to the hospital’s emergency department or to their primary health care provider for treatment and vaccination. 

For more information about rabies and the rabies vaccination clinics, visit the SMCHD website at smchd.org/rabies-prevention

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