Saturday, December 7, 2013
PORTLAND — A pet dog has tested positive for rabies for the first time in nine years in Maine.
State epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears said Monday that the dog was reported to animal control in Kennebec County after becoming aggressive and biting its owner.
The state confirmed rabies on Aug. 1 and the owner was treated for exposure. Sears tells the Bangor Daily News that further testing showed the rabies strain was one commonly carried by raccoons.
Rabies, which is fatal if untreated, is commonly spread through a bite or scratch from an infected animal. So far this year, 72 animals in the state have tested positive for the virus. Two cats — one wild and one domestic — also have tested positive for rabies.