WARNING: Rabid Skunks Spotted in Whitfield and Murray County
DALTON, Ga. (WDEF) – Residents living in the Northern parts of Whitfield and Murray County are being strongly advised to avoid any wild animals they come across, especially skunks.
That’s a number of skunks with rabies were reported in the area. “Especially the last month,” said Ray King, director of Environmental Health for the North Georgia Health District, “We’ve had four confirmed cases of rabid skunks, in which the skunks were actually casing people or pets and other animals.”
Thankfully no one has been bitten by one of the skunks, but residents are still being warned to avoid any wild animal they come across, including cats and dogs, especially if they’re acting aggressive or abnormal.
Pet owners are also strongly urged to make sure their cats and dogs are vaccinated, and residents are asked to be careful because if bitten, a rabies vaccine could cost a person anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000.
“The treatments are very expensive, ” said King, “And it is a problem sometimes, because people don’t always have insurance, and so forth, but we get them treated one way or another. There are local hospitals, and other facilities through which the types of medications needed can be obtained.”
Officials say skunks normally avoid people and are mostly nocturnal, so if one is out during the day it may be infected. Officials also want those living in rural areas to remember that all livestock, such as cows, horses and pigs are susceptible to rabies.