Rabies Alert: Health officials urge residents to vaccinate their animals.



                                For Immediate Release         

rabies-skunkDecember 16, 2016

Another Whitfield County Skunk Tests Positive for Rabies

Health officials urge residents to vaccinate their animals


Dalton (GA) – A Whitfield County resident observed stray dogs interacting with a skunk on Boyles Mill Road in the northeast section of the county on Monday, December 12 and contacted officials the next day after seeing a media report about rabies in the area. The resident was not close enough to the stray dogs to give a specific description.

Whitfield Animal Control responded to the call and found a dead skunk in about the same location. Since the skunk almost certainly had contact with the stray dogs it was shipped to the Georgia State Public Health Laboratory, which confirmed on Wednesday, December 14 that the skunk had rabies.

There was no human exposure to rabies in this incident.

Residents in the northern parts of Whitfield and Murray Counties are strongly advised to be aware of wild mammals behaving aggressively, appearing sick or otherwise behaving in an abnormal manner. Children should be taught to avoid stray dogs, cats and wild mammals.

Pet owners should make sure their cats and dogs are currently vaccinated against rabies. When rabid wild animals come near a home, pets usually have first contact with them. So when pets are vaccinated against rabies, pet owners and their families are also better protected. Unvaccinated dogs or cats that have been bitten by a rabid animal are recommended to be destroyed or placed in very strict quarantine for six months.

Persons who own livestock in these areas should have farm animals with which they have close contact vaccinated against rabies and be aware that all livestock are susceptible to rabies. A cow in another part of north Georgia was recently found to have rabies, resulting in anti-rabies treatments for several persons.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, contact your local Environmental Health office (contact information is at www.nghd.org) or log onto www.cdc.gov/rabies.

About Us: The North Georgia Health District is part of the Georgia Department of Public Health. One of 18 health districts in the state, the North Georgia Health District (District 1-2) is comprised of six counties: Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield. Many public health programs and services exist throughout the district, all of which are designed to meet the needs of the people of North Georgia. Learn more about us at www.nghd.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

To access this press release directly online, go to our website at  http://nghd.org/pr/34-/827-another-whitfield-county-skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies.html

Thank you,

Jennifer King
Public Information Officer and
Risk Communicator
North Georgia Health District 1-2 of therabies2

Georgia Department of Public Health
1710 Whitehouse Court
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 529-5757, x3191 (Office)
(706) 280-9115 (Cell)
(706) 529-5740 (Fax)
[email protected]

Website: nghd.org
Facebook: facebook.com/N.GA.Health
Twitter: twitter.com/NGAHealthDist

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