The Town of Queenstown notified residents in its July newsletter that a rabid raccoon was spotted and killed recently in the area of Comegys Lane. Rabies in the area is as prevalent as ever, and raccoons are the big culprit here, said Chet Cissel, assistant director of Environmental Health and the rabies coordinator for Queen Anne’s County. Cissel didn’t have concrete numbers to share because the health department only tests for rabies when a human or pet has been exposed. The lab in Baltimore is overwhelmed, so they only test when necessary. If no one was exposed, they tell people to go ahead and bury the dead animal.
Raccoons, foxes and bats are the most frequent carriers of rabies, and bats are to blame for most of the human exposures to rabies in the U.S. Any warm-blooded mammal can contract rabies. Anyone noticing a wild animal out of its element and acting strangely should contact Queen Anne’s County Animal Services at 410-758-2393, and pet owners are reminded to make sure their animals are vaccinated.