County announces another raccoon tests positive for rabies, the third case in seven months

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt March 13, 2018

A raccoon. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County officials have said another raccoon has tested positive for rabies, making this the third confirmed case within seven months.

County health officials identified a case of rabies in September and in February. In the February incident, the raccoon entered a home through a pet door and bit two dogs. Both dogs were vaccinated.

The latest case was confirmed in an animal captured on March 3. The raccoon was captured in the 3900 block of Garfield Drive in Stone Mountain.

“Rabies is a disease that affects the brain,” an advisory from the county says. “It’s usually passed from animal to animal but can be passed from animals to people. The virus is spread through saliva, usually from a bite of an animal that has the disease.

“Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a wild animal should seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, residents are advised to watch pets and contact DeKalb County Animal Control if unusual behavior such as excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth occurs. Rabies can be prevented by a vaccine. Residents are responsible for vaccinating pets every year and registering the tag with DeKalb County Animal Control.”

A county spokesperson says the number of recent cases reported is not unusual.

“Georgia is a rabies endemic state meaning the virus is present all year long,” the spokesperson said. “Wildlife such as raccoons, bats, foxes, coyotes, and bobcats are more frequently infected and, in our area, raccoons and bats are the most common vector animals.  Opossums, rabbits, hares and squirrels rarely have the virus.  It is not unusual this time of year to see several cases of rabies in wildlife.”

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