DeKalb County says six cases of rabies have been confirmed this yearA raccoon. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons
The county says it has documented six cases of rabies in raccoons this year.
On Tuesday, the county reported a positive case in the 3100 block of Albatross Lane. The county reported on Wednesday that another case had been discovered, this time in the 4500 block of North Peachtree Road in Dunwoody.
The county says the number of rabies cases being reported is not unusual. Here is the full press release from DeKalb County:
DECATUR, Ga. — On April 8, a raccoon was captured in the 4500 block of North Peachtree Road in Dunwoody and later tested positive for rabies.
This year, there have been six positive raccoon rabies incidents in the county including Dunwoody, Decatur, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Avondale Estates and Lithonia. Georgia is a rabies endemic state and the virus is present all year long. It is not unusual for the county to report several rabies cases this time of year.
Residents should make sure pets are up to date for preventative vaccination and should eliminate outdoor feeding stations. 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 occurs.
Rabies is a disease that affects the brain. 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. Vaccinations are effective in protecting humans and pets from the virus. Residents are responsible for vaccinating pets every year and registering the tag with DeKalb County Animal Control.
Pest control company Orkin published a list of signs that a raccoon may be infected with rabies.
The raccoon staggers as though it seems “drunk”
The raccoon has “weeping” of the eyes and salivating or frothing at the mouth
The raccoon’s fur on the face appears wet and tangled
The raccoon seems to be unaware of noises or unwary of movements that would normally send it scurrying to a protected area
Unexplained aggression or lethargy
Throat muscle constriction that causes choking, drooling, and frothing of the mouth and loss of leg function due to paralysis.
Anyone who suspects that a raccoon is infected should contact DeKalb County Animal Control at 404-294-2996. Press and select option 2 from the menu.