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Rabies becoming a growing concern to Georgia families and pets

June 23, 2014 -- 5:28 p.m.

Press Release

Rabies is a real threat in the State of Georgia and in the United States.  In 2014, Paulding County has expierenced two confirmed rabies cases thus far, one being a raccoon and the other a fox.  Several counties in the Metro-Atlanta area have also reported confirmed rabies cases, and Henry County had to quarantine a community the week.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC): Any animal bitten or scratched by wild, carnivous mammal or a bat that is not available for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies.

Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately.  If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict isolation for six months and vaccinated one month before being released.

Animals with expired vacciantions need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Dogs and cats that are currently vaccinated are kept under observation for 45 days.

There is no known effective treatment for rabies once the symptoms of the illness have developed.  Rabies can be prevented in humans if medical care is sought soon after an exposure to the rabies virus.  If left untreated, rabies is always fatal.

By getting a rabies vaccination for your pet, you ensure the safety and health of your pet and family.  If your pet is vaccinated against rabies, then your pet cannont contrat the virus and possibly infect other animals or humans.

The Paulding County Marshal Bureau and Animal Control Department wants your family and pets to be safe and healthy.  The cost for a rabies vaccination ranges from about $10 to $25 at local veterinary clinics, and there are various free vaccination programs offered in the area throughout the year.