Montgomery County health officials are asking residents who may have had contact with a rabid kitten to contact them.
The gray, short-haired kitten was found in the vicinity of Old Angler’s Inn on the 10800 block of MacArthur Boulevard, according to the health department. It was captured by Animal Control on Aug. 21. The animal has been destroyed.
Anyone who may have had contact with the kitten is asked to call the Montgomery County Health Department Disease Control Office at 240-777-1755.
According to the health department, casual contact with the animal does not necessarily mean that the person is infected. Types of contact which may require rabies vaccinations include: being bitten or scratched, eyes of mouth having contact with the kitten’s saliva (for example if the kitten licked someone’s face of hand and the person then touched their eyes or petting the kitten with a hand that has an open wound.
Residents who suspect they had contact with this or any other rabid animal should contact their physician immediately.
Although there is no cure for rabies, a potentially fatal disease, the vaccinations, if started soon enough after exposure, can stop the disease before it takes hold.
This year there have been 36 cases of rabies in Montgomery County. “About 90 percent are wild animals,” said Mary Anderson, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
On average, there are 55 cases per year in the county, Anderson said.
There has been one human case of rabies this year, nationwide. In 2002, there were three, Anderson said.
For more general information about rabies, visit www.cdc.gov.