Carroll County

Fox that attacked Georgia resident tests positive for rabies

CAROLL COUNTY, Ga — According to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory, a fox tested positive for rabies after biting a Georgian on June 30.

The Carroll County resident is the third person bitten by a fox in the county in six weeks.

Animal control previously retrieved two foxes on May 20 and 27 that tested positive for rabies.

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The county’s Animal Control Office took the fox to a lab to test it for rabies. The victim was notified after the fox tested positive and was encouraged to begin post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent human rabies.

In a Wednesday news release, the Georgia Department of Public Health wrote that rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals that is most often spread through the bite of an infected animal.

According to the department, symptoms of a rabies infection may include insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, slight or partial paralysis, hypersalivation, and difficulty swallowing.

“If you notice a wild or nocturnal animal moving about in the daytime and the animal appears to show no fear of people or the animal seems to behave in a sick or abnormal way, the animal may be infected with rabies,” said Melinda Knight, District 4 public health’s environmental health director. “People should avoid animals acting out of character and report it to animal control or their local environmental health office.”

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Seth Woodrow, District 4′s environmental health deputy director, said he encourages everyone to have all pets vaccinated to prevent rabies.

“It is important to remember that although rabies occurs more often in wildlife, domestic animals like the family dog or cat can become infected as well,” he said.

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According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of rabies cases reported annually occur in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.

For more information on rabies and how to treat and prevent it, click here.

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