Prompted by three reported cases of rabies this year, Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) has released a set of guidelines for residents to prevent contracting the disease.
A raccoon and a kitten tested positive for rabies in Cobb County, and a raccoon tested positive in Douglas County.
A press release from CDPH states, “Cobb & Douglas Public Health is encouraging residents to take immediate steps to reduce contact with potentially infected animals. So far in 2020, a total of three animals (a kitten and raccoon in Cobb/a raccoon in Douglas) in the Cobb & Douglas Public Health district have tested positive for rabies.”
“Rabies is caused by a virus that animals and people can get through certain exposures to the saliva or nervous tissue from a rabid animal, and is nearly 100% fatal without proper care following exposure. Because survival is so rare following clinical signs of the virus, individuals exposed to or suspecting exposure from an animal bite should receive immediate medical attention to assess the need for vaccination AND report the exposure to local animal control,” the press release states.
The CDPH tips for rabies prevention:
The press release gives the following tips for the prevention of rabies:
· All dogs, cats and ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies. Consider vaccinating valuable livestock and horses. Animals that have frequent contact with humans should be vaccinated.
· Pet owners can reduce the possibility of pets being exposed to rabies by not letting them roam free.
· Spaying or neutering your pet may reduce any tendency they might have to roam or fight and thus reduce the chance that they will be exposed to rabies.
· Don’t feed your pets outside. Even empty bowls will attract wild and stray animals.
· Keep your garbage securely covered. Open garbage will also attract wild or stray animals.
· Wild animals such as raccoons, bats, and foxes should not be kept as pets.
· Enjoy all wild animals from a distance and teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, even if they appear friendly.
· If you see a wild animal acting aggressively, report it to city or county animal control officials.
· CDPH requests that you report all animal bites to your local animal control:
- Cobb County Animal Control: 770-499-4136
- Douglas County Animal Control: 770-942-5961