May 21, 2019

Rabid Fox confirmed in Hogansville

(Troup County, GA) — The Georgia Public Health Laboratory (GPHL) has confirmed that a fox in Troup County recently tested positive for rabies.

Animal control picked up the fox in the vicinity of Lincoln Street in Hogansville after it attacked two people. It was sent for testing on May 3, 2019 with no other residents or animals involved.

All residents are encouraged to take precautions to protect their families and pets against rabies by learning signs of rabies and vaccinating pets.

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals that is most often spread through the bite of an animal that is infected with the disease.

Rabies infects the central nervous system, causing encephalopathy (a disease of the brain) and, ultimately, death. Early symptoms of the disease include fever and headache.

As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, a slight or partial paralysis, hyper salivation, and/or 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 Hayla Folden, District 4 public information officer. “People should avoid animals acting out of character and report it to animal control or local environmental health office.”

Treatment and prevention practices for rabies have proven to be almost 100 percent effective when initiated promptly. Please report any bite, scratch, or other contact with a wild animal to your local environmental health office.

“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. I strongly encourage owners to have all pets vaccinated to prevent rabies,” said Seth Woodrow, county environmental health manager.

There have been four other animals sent in to the GPHL this year in Troup County, with this one fox being positive.

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

A rabid racoon was also confirmed in the Roopville area just last month.

For more information about rabies, please contact your local animal control office, county environmental health office, or visit the Georgia Department of Public Health web site at http://dph.georgia.gov/rabies or the CDC web site at www.cdc.gov.

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