Awareness is Key to Preventing Rabies Infection

 Baltimore (April 18, 2013) -- As the weather gets warmer and people and their pets are enjoying more time outdoors, the risk of rabies transmission from animals to people is at its highest. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) reminds Marylanders to be mindful of the risk and take the proper precautions.

“Rabies is a serious disease transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal. The best way to protect your family is to vaccinate your pets,” said Dr. Katherine Feldman, State Public Health Veterinarian. “We want to remind Marylanders to report all animal bites to your local health department or animal control agency.”

Rabies is most commonly found among wildlife such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, but can be transmitted to domestic animals. To date this year, 88 animals have been diagnosed with rabies in Maryland, including eight cats and one horse. Cats account for the majority of rabies cases in domestic animals in Maryland and in the U.S.

Local health departments offer low-cost animal rabies vaccination clinics for dogs, cats, and ferrets to aid in statewide rabies prevention efforts. Contact your local health department to find out about spring clinics in your area.

When a person is bitten by or exposed to saliva of a rabid animal, the disease is prevented by the administration of a four-dose rabies vaccine series administered over a 14-day period and a dose of rabies immunoglobulin given at the beginning of the series. Each year, approximately 900 Marylanders receive preventive treatment after exposure to a rabid or potentially rabid animal.

Animals with rabies often show changes in behavior. Wild animals may act friendly, domestic animals may become aggressive, and animals that are active only at night may appear during the day. Rabid animals may stagger, drool, or become paralyzed. The diagnosis of rabies is made by examining brain tissue from the suspected rabid animal.

To prevent exposure to rabies:

Have your dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, sheep, and cattle vaccinated against rabies.
Keep your pet under your control at all times, especially when traveling.
Enjoy wildlife from a distance and do not feed wildlife.
Avoid sick animals and any that are acting in an unusual manner.
Cover garbage cans securely and do not leave pet food outside.
Do not relocate wildlife.
Prevent bats from entering your home. If you find a bat in your home, do not touch it. Only let it go if you are sure no people or household pets have had any contact with it. Contact your local health department or animal control agency for assistance.
If you or your pet has been bitten or otherwise exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid domestic animal, get the owner’s name, address and telephone number. Contact your local health department or animal control agency immediately.

Additional information about rabies can be found at: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/rabies.aspx.


 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

The Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Ocean City, MD.

Ocean City, MD − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Worcester County are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. As in years past, walkers will gather at Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, with registration beginning at 9am. After opening remarks, the procession will walk to the Inlet, turn and walk to 5th Street, then back to Caroline Street.

Read more ...

Worcester Health partners with Ocean City Fire Department on “Safe Station” project
Station offers 24/7 access to recovery services

Ocean City, MD- Where would you go if you needed help with addiction right now? The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station for those seeking immediate help getting into recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.

Read more ...

In the event of a storm or power outage, it is important to know safety information about food storage and operating generators. Follow the links below for tips about food and generator safety.

Read more ...

(July 31, 2019 Snow Hill, MD) – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first positive test for EEE in Worcester in 2019.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, eliminating standing water is critical for the control of mosquito populations. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:

Read more ...

(Snow Hill, MD)- Worcester County Emergency Service officials urge residents to exercise extreme caution and check on elderly and infirm neighbors during the heatwave forecasted to last through Sunday. Heat indexes for the shore are expected to rise above 100 degrees this week and exposure to extreme heat can be dangerous for humans and animals, even deadly.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program