Blue Ridge (GA) March 6, 2009 - Fannin County Environmental Health Officials reported late on Friday, March 6, 2009 that rabies had just been confirmed in a raccoon that was killed in a fight with a local dog last Wednesday.

Shannon Bradburn of the county environmental health department said, "We received a call on Wednesday, March 4 that a raccoon had been in a fight with a dog at a residence off Tipton Trail in Morganton, and the raccoon was killed in the altercation.  The homeowners took the raccoon to a local vet where the head was removed for testing. Our office shipped the raccoon head to the state lab on March 5, and we received the positive rabies results back late today."

Mr. Bradburn reported the test results to the residents of the property where the raccoon had died, and since their dog that fought with the rabid animal was not current on its rabies vaccination, they said they would immediately have the pet euthanized.  

Health officials continue to remind the public of the importance of maintaining rabies vaccinations in pets and livestock and to avoid contact with any unfamiliar animal.  

A bite or scratch from a wild or domestic animal for which there is no proof of current rabies vaccination could be potentially deadly. The wound should be washed with soap and water and rinsed for several minutes. Seek medical attention immediately and report the event to Fannin County Environmental Health Officials at 706-632-3024 with the following details:

  • The geographic location of the incident
  • The type of animal that was involved
  • How the exposure occurred (provoked or unprovoked)
  • The vaccination status of any pets involved
  • Whether the aggressive animal can be safely captured and tested for rabies 

For more information about rabies, call the Fannin County Environmental Health Department or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website atwww.cdc.gov.

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