A raccoon found on June 8, 2012 on Newport Lane in Lilburn tested positive for rabies at the state laboratory, according to the Gwinnett County's Animal Shelter.
The shelter advised that if anyone has been bitten or scratched by any stray animals, or specifically this animal, they should call Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770-339-3200 ext. 5576.
Rabies is a deadly viral infection that is mainly spread by infected animals. Although there have been no reports of dog bites causing rabies in the United States for years, more cases of human rabies have been linked to bats and raccoons.
The CDC reports that 92% of reported cases of rabies in 2010 were wild animals and the majority of them were raccoons. Domestic animal vaccinations have dramatically decreased the number of cases found in domestic pets. Reported cases in humans has dropped from 100 each year to about 2 in recent years.
Gwinnett County supplies this information:
What does a rabid animal look like? Rabid animals may act tame. They may also display strange or unusual behavior. They may act aggressive, avoid food and water, foam at the mouth, or have trouble moving. Stay away from any unknown animals, especially wildlife. Report any animal acting unusual to Gwinnett County Police Animal Welfare and Enforcement at 770.513.5100.
How can I help protect myself and my family from rabies?
- Make sure your pets get their rabies shots regularly
- Keep your pets on your property
- Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. Food left out may attract wild or stray animals
- Stay away from wild, sick, hurt, or dead animals. Do not pick up or move sick or hurt animals. If you find a wild, sick, or hurt animal, call Gwinnett County Police Animal Welfare and Enforcement at 770.513.5100
- Do not keep wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes as pets. It is dangerous and also illegal
- Teach your children not to go near, tease, or play with wild animals or strange dogs and cats