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Public advised to use caution around animals acting oddly

(Lawrenceville, Ga., Feb. 14, 2024) – Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement and the Gwinnett County Health Department advise residents to use caution and avoid animals behaving in unusual ways after a raccoon tested positive for the rabies virus.

On Thursday, February 8, a rabid raccoon bit a canine near the 1900 block of Stone Forest Drive in Lawrenceville. The raccoon later tested positive for rabies.

Diseases like rabies can be transmitted to humans and pets through bites or scratches from wild animals such as foxes and raccoons.

All pet owners should ensure that their pets are current on rabies vaccination. According to the National Association of State Health Veterinarians, unvaccinated dogs and cats exposed to a rabid animal must be strictly quarantined for four months and vaccinated one month prior to being released.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rabies virus attacks the central nervous system and is almost always fatal in humans if untreated. Early symptoms of rabies in people include fever, headache and general weakness or discomfort.

If you or your child have been bitten or scratched by any stray animals or suspected rabid animal, immediate preventive treatment is necessary.

Please seek medical care immediately and inform the healthcare provider of the exposure. Then, contact the Gwinnett County Health Department at 770-339-4260 and ask for the on-call epidemiologist.

To report the animal and have it picked up, please call the Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770-339-3200 ext. 5576; for after-hours assistance, contact non-emergency Dispatch at 770-513-5700. 

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