Gilmer County environmental health officials announced today that a raccoon in the county recently tested positive for rabies.

Andrea Wheeler of the Gilmer County Environmental Health Department stated, “On May 25, 2010, a Golden Retriever Mix came into contact with a raccoon that tested positive for rabies on May 26, 2010. The dog has a life-long history of rabies vaccinations and received a rabies booster vaccination and will be observed at home for 45 days.”

The incident took place in the Yukon Road, Bible Baptist Road and Hickory Ridge vicinity. No human exposure occurred.

“This is the second report of suspicious raccoons in this area,” said Ms Wheeler. “Residents are encouraged to vaccinate your dogs and cats against rabies. This is simply the only barrier between us and the deadly virus.”

A bite from a wild or domestic animal for which there is no proof of current rabies vaccination could be potentially deadly. The bite should be washed with soap and water and rinsed 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.

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