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Chatsworth, GA – Murray County Environmental Health officials have reported a possible rabies exposure incident involving a young child in the Will Evans Road area. The incident occurred on the evening of Thursday, June 15, and was reported to Environmental Health the following morning.

According to reports, the child was playing with a sibling in their yard when a fox appeared. The child was startled and fell upon seeing the fox, which then charged toward the child. The child kicked the animal, and the parents cornered it before calling the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR officers arrived and put the fox down.

After the incident, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) examined the child, who had sustained an abrasion on their foot from kicking the fox while wearing sandals. Jason Baum, Murray County Environmental Health Manager, advised the child's mother of the steps needed if the animal tested positive for rabies.

On Wednesday, June 21, the Georgia Public Health Lab confirmed that the fox had tested positive for rabies. Baum recommended that the child begin the post-exposure vaccination process, and the mother took the child to the ER that night.

Baum also recommended that other family members who were there seek advice from Georgia Poison Control regarding their possible exposure to the virus during the incident and any treatment recommendations. However, Baum deemed their risk of exposure and the family cat's risk to be low based on the circumstances.

Environmental Health officials are distributing notices in the area advising residents to be cautious of wild animals, including strays, especially those that exhibit strange behaviors, and to ensure their pets and livestock are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. If residents have sightings or exposures to such animals, they should call the Murray County Environmental Health office at (706) 695-0266.

We want to remind the public of the importance of vaccinating their pets against rabies to prevent the spread of the virus. Our thoughts are with the child and their family during this difficult time.

 Read Rabies Notice to Residents Near Area of Incident