Red Fox
Red Fox
credits: Wikipedia
A man was exposed to a fox that later tested positive for rabies on February Lane off Old Highway 5 North in Ellijay, according to Andrea Wheeler of Gilmer County Environmental Health. The resident encountered the fox on July 16, 2009 and the fox tested positive for rabies on July 23, 2009.

The man will be receiving shots due to the exposure. No other exposures occurred.

In addition, the public is encouraged not to approach wildlife under any circumstances. If a suspicious animal is in your yard, the best thing to do is to stay away from it in order to reduce your risk of animal and potential rabies exposure.

Ms Wheeler said,
“Even after all the positive rabies cases we have had over the last year, we are still observing pets and other domestic animals that are not being vaccinated. As a reminder, it is GA State Law to vaccinate your animals against rabies. Furthermore, if you have a ‘stray’ dog or cat that you are feeding, providing shelter for, or are caring for in any way, you are responsible for that animal. Please vaccinate your pets against rabies and help control the pet population through spaying/neutering your animals.”
A bite from a wild or domestic animal for which there is no proof of current rabies vaccination could be potentially deadly. Wash the bite with soap and water and rinse for several minutes. Seek medical attention immediately and report the bite to the Gilmer County Environmental Health Office at 706-635-6050 with the following information:

  • 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 local county Environmental Health Department or log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov.

The Gilmer County Environmental Health Office would like to sincerely thank Appalachian Animal Hospital and the Gilmer County Animal Control Office for their perpetual assistance in rabies prevention and rabies shipment preparation. ---Gilmer County Environmental Health Office Staff

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