Rabid animals increase in Ocean City

The popular summer destination Ocean City has attracted more than just tourists, the area has become a hotspot for rabid wildlife with 18 confirmed cases of rabid animals to date.

Increased reports of rabid animals and an attack by a rabid raccoon in mid-June led Worcester County officials to urge citizens to be wary of aggressive wildlife such as raccoons, foxes, skunks and feral cats.

North Ocean city continues to receive reports of hostile raccoons approaching and attacking people and pets. The incidences have resulted in rabies treatment for exposed humans and quarantine or euthanasia for exposed pets.

The best protection for pets is to assure that they have had a recent rabies vaccination. Health officials warn that owners should not touch their pets with bare hands if they have come into contact with a wild animal. Securing trash cans can minimize smells that may attract rabid animals.

According to Mayo Health Clinic, rabies doesn't cause any signs or symptoms until late in the disease. Some of these symptoms include fever, headache, insomnia, difficulty swallowing and excessive salivation.

If you or your pet have been bitten by a wild animal, health officials urge you to seek medical attention.