DECATUR, Ga. — On April 12, a raccoon was captured in the 400 block of North Hairston Road in Stone Mountain and later tested positive for rabies.

This year, there have been seven positive raccoon rabies incidents in the county including Dunwoody, Decatur, Tucker, Stone Mountain, Avondale Estates and Lithonia.  Georgia is a rabies endemic state and the virus is present all year long. It is not unusual for the county to report several rabies cases this time of year.

Residents should make sure pets are up to date for preventative vaccination and should eliminate outdoor feeding stations.  Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an animal should seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, residents are advised to watch pets and contact DeKalb County Animal Control if unusual behavior occurs.

Rabies is a disease that affects the brain. It’s usually passed from animal to animal but can be passed from animals to people. The virus is spread through saliva, usually from a bite of an animal that has the disease. Vaccinations are effective in protecting humans and pets from the virus. Residents are responsible for vaccinating pets every year and registering the tag with DeKalb County Animal Control.

For more information or to report any animal bite, contact DeKalb County Animal Control at 404-294-2996, press and select option 2 from the menu.

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