Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the nervous system. It may result in paralysis and death once the symptoms appear. Symptoms of rabies usually develop within 2 - 8 weeks after one is infected.

All warm-blooded animals can be infected by rabies. In this area, it is most likely to be seen in raccoons, foxes, skunks, bats and, when not vaccinated against it, dogs and cats.

To Prevent Rabies

  • Keep your pet's rabies shots current.
  • Walk your pet on a leash, and do not leave your pet outside unattended.
  • Don't keep or treat wild animals as pets.
  • Keep trashcans closed securely and do not leave pet food outside as this can attract wild animals.

Signs of a Rabid Animal

  • Look for a change in behavior.
  • Rabid animals react to noise and motion usually in a violent fashion.
  • Stay calm and quiet and move slowly if you see an animal acting strangely.
  • Rabid animals may not foam at the mouth. They will occasionally drool.
  • Rabid animals may become very lethargic.

If Bitten

  • Immediately soak the wound in soapy water, and scrub the bite area gently.
  • Dry the wound and apply an antiseptic like iodine.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately. The Health Department will provide information and assistance regarding post exposure shots.
  • Report the bite immediately to the Prince George’s County Police Department at 301-352-1200 and the Health Department at 301-583-3750.
  • Try to have someone keep the animal in site. If it is a dog or cat and you know where it lives, notify the owner so they can contain the animal.