Officials of the Cherokee County Environmental Health Department reported that a raccoon, which has now tested positive for rabies, was picked up on Highway 20, west of Canton on January 6, 2009. This is the first confirmed of case of rabies reported in the county for 2009.
Officials said the raccoon came into a residential yard in the Fox Hills subdivision at about 2 p.m. and died in a fight with the homeowner’s dog. The raccoon’s head was shipped off to the state laboratory in Decatur for rabies testing on January 7, and the positive test results were received on January 8.
The dog involved in the fight is current on its rabies vaccinations, so it only needed a rabies booster shot and will be observed under a 45-day quarantine at home.  To avoid rabies exposure and to help prevent the spread of rabies, residents are urged to stay away from unfamiliar animals and to make certain all pets and livestock are current on their rabies vaccinations.
The recommendation for a possible rabid animal bite is to thoroughly wash the wound
with soap and water, and then seek immediate medical attention with the following information on
  • 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 and its prevention, please call the Cherokee County
Environmental Health Department at (770) 479-0444. General information about rabies can be
found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at


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