Cherokee County Environmental Health Officials announced today that they recently received confirmation of rabies in both a raccoon and a fox. Additionally, a local woman is being treated for possible rabies exposure.

Glendon Gordy of county environmental health said the incident involving the raccoon occurred on May 31 when the animal entered a residential yard on Cherrydale Lane in Woodstock and attacked two puppies.

“The puppies were not vaccinated at the time of the incident,” stated Mr. Gordy. “As a result, a six-month quarantine will be instituted.”

The dog owner’s husband killed the raccoon; however, he was not exposed.

This is the second positive case of rabies in a raccoon in the county this year. The first case involved a raccoon on Highway 20 west of Canton in the Fox Hills Subdivision.

The state lab provided confirmation of rabies in a fox on June 4, bringing the total cases of confirmed rabies in animals in Cherokee County this year to three.

The fox attacked a pet dog in the Lake Sovereign Subdivision off Sixes Road on the afternoon of June 3. The dog is current on its rabies vaccination; therefore, the dog’s owner will place the pet under a 45-day quarantine at home.

“There was also a local lady that transferred five baby bats with her bare hands to a wildlife rescue facility,” Mr. Gordy added. “She was then informed by the wildlife agent about possible rabies exposure, so she contacted our office. The woman is currently receiving treatment for post exposure.”

Health officials urge people to avoid all unfamiliar animals and to maintain rabies vaccinations in all their pets and livestock. If a person or animal is bitten or scratched by a wild animal or by an unfamiliar domestic animal, the wound should be washed with soap and water and rinsed for several minutes. Seek medical attention, immediately, and report the event to the Cherokee County Environmental Health Office at 770-479-0444 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 Cherokee County Environmental Health Office or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.

Persons who may be exposed to rabies may also call Georgia Poison Control at 1-800 - 222-1222 if other local resources cannot be reached.

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