Ellijay (GA) – A raccoon that was recently found in a residential area of Ellijay in Gilmer County, Georgia has now tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon was out during the daytime on May 9 and appeared to be sickly as it wandered in the campground area of Coosawattee River Resort, a gated community in Ellijay. A resident, concerned about the danger the raccoon might have posed to people and pets in the neighborhood, shot the animal so it could be tested for rabies.
The raccoon was tested by the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory on May 10 and the positive results were reported on May 11.
There was no known human or domestic animal exposure to the raccoon.
Health officials are continuing to remind the public to avoid all wild animals and pet owners should maintain rabies vaccinations in their pets. If a pet receives an initial one-year vaccine, it can receive a three-year rabies vaccination on the following year.
Rabies is prevalent in wild animals such as raccoons and skunks but can be found in coyotes, foxes, bats, bobcats and other wild carnivores. Rodents and opossums are rarely found with rabies, but a bite from any wild mammal should cause concern and be reported to a healthcare provider and the local environmental health office.
Children should be warned to avoid contact with wild mammals and any stray dog or cat and to report any contact with these animals to an adult right away.
For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at CDC Gov Rabies .