August 1, 2014
Lowndes County, GA - It's a deadly disease living right in our back yards, that you may not think about; Rabies.
"It's here, rabies is here. It's in our forrests, it's in our neighborhoods, it's in our attics if bats are there, it's here. It's something that ain't going to go away any time soon", says Shannon Walker, with Lowndes County Environmental Health.
Health Officials in Lowndes County are hoping to raise public awareness about rabies after a local man was recently attacked by a grey fox. The Lowndes County Animal Shelter says the man was given a treatment after his exposure and survived.
According to The County Health Department, that victim is lucky. For most of the 15-20 people exposed each year in Lowndes County, luck isn't on their side.
"Rabies is almost always 100% fatal. If you don't have the shots, if you don't get checked by a doctor, and you start coming down with symptoms, a lot of times, it's too late then", says Walker.
Walker says if you think you've been exposed to rabies, the best thing you can do, is quarantine the animal, and report it to The Shelter. They will send the animal off for testing and report back the results. If you don't have the animal, go see a doctor. He says it's much easier to treat rabies before you come down with symptoms, which can take days.
The fox attack was the third case of Rabies at The Lowndes County Animal Shelter this year.
They say your best protection is to always vaccinate pets, and never touch wild animals like foxes, raccoons, skunks, and bats.