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With the recent report of a rabid horse, the Harford County Health Department is advising people to be cautious of infected animals.

Last month, a horse at a Harford County farm had been exposed to a raccoon attack and found to have rabies. About 20 people were believed to be at risk for exposure to rabies, according to Bill Wiseman, public information officer for the health department.

"In this particular case, once the animal, the horse, demonstrated behavior characteristic of rabies, the animal was euthanized and lab tested and found to be positive," Wiseman said, adding neither the county health department nor the state health department would discuss specifics concerning where the horse was found or the names of individuals involved.

None of the people who may have had contact with the rabid horse, including a person who left the United States to perform community service in a foreign country, were found positive for rabies.

"Everyone's safe and sound," Wiseman said.

The health department investigated the situation and the people who were involved were directed to receive post-exposure rabies prophylaxis.

"At no point was this a public health risk," Wiseman said. "This really only involved the family of the owner's horse."

According to Wiseman, 11 animals in Harford County have been diagnosed with rabies this year, including eight raccoons, one fox, one skunk and one horse.

For more on rabies in Harford County, see this Wednesday's edition of The Aegis.


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