SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Coastal Health District is sending out a warning after they say two raccoons on Wilmington Island tested positive for rabies.
In the first incident, the raccoon came in contact with a dog. The dog is current on vaccinations and received a booster vaccine.
In the second incident, a raccoon was hit by a car and an individual trying to render aid was scratched by the raccoon. The Chatham County Environmental Health office has reached out to the resident to recommend consultation with a healthcare professional.
The Chatham County Health Department Environmental Health office 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 year as prescribed by your veterinarian.
- 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 health. 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.
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.