Two raccoons test positive for rabies in Chatham Co. - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Two raccoons test positive for rabies in Chatham Co.

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CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Chatham County Health Department officials say that two raccoons have tested positive for rabies in Chatham County after a family pet and a landscaper were exposed, but in unrelated incidents.

A family dog in Thunderbolt that was not up-to-date on his rabies vaccination is now in quarantine at Savannah Chatham Animal Control after being exposed to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies.

Health officials say that in an unrelated incident, a landscaper working on Skidaway Island is being advised to follow up with his physician after picking up a raccoon that also tested positive for rabies.

Symptoms of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.

 The Chatham County Health Department Environmental Health Division offers these 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.

If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Chatham County Animal Control at 912.525.2408 and the Chatham County Health Department Environmental Health Division at 912.356.2160.

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