Public Health Advisory on Rabies Danger

North Georgia (WDEF) – Recently in northern Murray and Whitfield Counties, there have been several incidents of wild skunks chasing humans and pets.

A skunk on River Road in Murray County and a skunk on Riverdale Road in north Whitfield County have been confirmed as rabid.

Another Murray County skunk from Mantooth Road in Crandall is being tested but is probably rabid, as well.

Skunks normally avoid people and are mostly nocturnal. When skunks, raccoons and similar wild animals are visible during daylight hours, they may have rabies.

Rabid animals may be aggressive like these skunks have been, or they may seem sick, disoriented and lethargic.

Wildfires to the east of Crandall may be forcing wild animals out of their normal habitats.

The North Georgia Health District is asking to make certain pets are currently vaccinated against rabies and should be revaccinated if they are not. Rabies is a deadly virus that can be transmitted to humans through the saliva of infected animals.

All hoofed livestock are susceptible to rabies. Vaccinating whole herds of animals against rabies is not usually practical, but vaccination is recommended for livestock that have close human contact, such as show cows and all horses.

The Murray County Sheriff’s Department will be sponsoring an emergency Rabies Vaccination Clinic on Saturday, December 3rd from 10am to 4pm at the Murray County Animal Shelter, located at 571 Highway 52 East, Chatsworth.

For more information about rabies prevention, contact the local county Environmental Health office or click the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Image

Categories: Local News