Jasper (GA) — A Pickens County resident was exposed to rabies when bitten by a raccoon last Friday, November 29, according to Jan Stephens, Manager of Pickens County Environmental Health.
The incident occurred late that morning at a private residence just off E. Church Street in Jasper. The raccoon got into a fight with three dogs when it climbed into the dogs’ pen and then it bit the dog owner while the owner attempted to break up the fight.
Lonnie Waters of Jasper Animal Control was called to the scene. Waters euthanized the raccoon and, since it was a state holiday, the body was turned over to Stephens of environmental health the following Monday, December 2.
Stephens prepared the raccoon for shipment and sent it Monday to the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory for rabies testing. The lab reported the positive results late the next day on Tuesday, December 3.
The owner has received a tetanus shot and is receiving post exposure treatment for rabies.
Vaccination records for the three dogs are currently being evaluated and the dogs are being monitored by environmental health.
Health officials remind the public that the best way to prevent rabies exposure is to maintain rabies vaccinations in pets and avoid contact with all unfamiliar animals.
For more information about rabies and its prevention, please contact Pickens County Environmental Health at (706) 253-0900 or log onto www.cdc.gov.