Rabid raccoon bites in Montgomery prompt health warning

Rabid raccoon bites in Montgomery prompt health warning

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A rabid raccoon bit two people in north Montgomery this past weekend, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The bites happened in the Chisholm neighborhood. Both people are receiving the rabies vaccine.

The Montgomery County Health Department is currently investigating to determine if other people had contact with the raccoon.

Health officials are also stressing the importance of using caution around wild animals and not approaching them. They are also reminding residents to make sure their pets are vaccinated.

Alabama law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other livestock if recommended by a veterinarian. Vaccinating animals reduces the risk of rabies infection should an exposure occur; thus vaccinations help protect animals, as well as their owners and caretakers.

Area residents are also advised to take the following precautions to avoid possible exposure to rabies:

  • Do not allow pets to run loose; confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
  • Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.
  • Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
  • Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner.
  • Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.
  • Advise children to tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
  • A person who is bitten or scratched by an animal should wash wounds immediately with mild soap and water, apply first aid, and seek medical attention or contact the county health department immediately.

For more information about rabies and prevention, please contact your county health department. You may also call ADPH at 1-800-338-8374 or (334) 206-5100 or visit the ADPH website.

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