Raccoon tests positive for rabies in Chatham County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Raccoon tests positive for rabies in Chatham Co.

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A raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Chatham County. Authorities trapped the raccoon after it got into an altercation with a family dog on the Isle of Hope. The dog was up to date on her rabies vaccination and there were no human exposures.

Rabies is a potentially deadly virus. It is primarily spread by infected animals. Residents should get their pets vaccinated, watch for unusual behavior in pets and wildlife, and avoid contact with wild or stray animals.

Symptoms of rabid animals include change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies, foaming at the mouth and paralysis.

Chatham Co. Health Department has released the following tips to protect you and your family from rabies:

  • Avoid contact with animals you don't know.
  • Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations. Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines by four months of age, followed by a booster shot one year later, and another one every one or three years depending on the type of vaccine used.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to help. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. "Love your own, leave other animals alone" is a good principle for children to learn.

Those who are bitten by an animal should seek medical care immediately and contact Chatham Co. Animal Control at 525.2408 and Chatham Co. Health Department Environmental Health Division at 356.2160.

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