Veterinarians comment after rabid raccoon bites 2 people

Veterinarians comment after rabid raccoon bites 2 people
Veterinarians advise to have all animals vaccinated with rabies shots. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A warning from the Alabama Department of Public Health after a raccoon with rabies bites two people in Montgomery.

"If you are bitten, please seek medical attention immediately," said Dee Jones. Jones is the State Public Health Veterinarian. "If you seek the proper medical attention rabies, although a deadly virus, can be 100 percent preventable."

The two people who came in contact with the rabies virus are currently seeking medical attention. According to ADPH, they have begun receiving the rabies vaccine from their medical provider.

"Since that happening, the individuals have sought proper medical attention and are going to be protected, obviously, from getting, developing the disease of rabies," said Jones.

Jones said some precautions you can take to avoid possible exposure to rabies include not leaving trash scattered around your property and not feeding or keeping wild animals as pets.

"If you see a fox or a raccoon, or something outside that nature, if it's out during the day, that's your first clue something is wrong. These are nighttime animals and if they're out during the day, generally they are not healthy and lots of times it can be rabies that's making them do that," said 2018 Vet Rabies Health Officer Mickey Golden.

He also stressed the importance of not approaching wild animals and reminded residents to vaccinate their pets.

"By protecting and vaccinating our dogs and cats, our local pets that is like the motte. It protects the wild animals from being able to infect our pets who would infect us, so by protecting your pets, not only are you protecting them, you're protecting yourself," Golden said.

Alabama law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets three months or older to be up to date on their rabies vaccination.

A rabies clinic will be held on May 12 and 19 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at 12 schools in Montgomery County. At the clinic, you can get your animal the rabies vaccination for $12.

The schools include:

  • Carver High School
  • Catoma Elementary School
  • Chisholm Elementary
  • Jefferson Davis High School
  • Dunbar-Ramer School
  • Flowers Elementary
  • Garrett Elementary
  • Georgia Washington Middle School
  • Pintlala Elementary
  • Robert E. Lee High School
  • Vaughn Road Elementary
  • Wares Ferry Road Elementary

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