Another rabid animal found in Covington County

Stock Photo (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Stock Photo (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Covington County, AL (WSFA) - Another rabid raccoon has been found in Covington County says the Alabama Department of Public Health.

On Monday the owner of two dogs found the animals playing with the dead raccoon's carcass near the Pier 7 Road.

Officials say the owner called the health department, and the raccoon was taken to the public health laboratory in Mobile for testing.

The results came back positive for rabies on Tuesday.

The state lab has tested 28 animals from Covington County this year and six have tested positive for rabies, 2 foxes and 4 raccoons.

Health officials warn residents to stay away from stray or unknown animals and wildlife including raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks.

These animals are most often responsible for transmitting the rabies virus to domesticated animals and humans.

Immunization of domestic dogs and cats provides the only "buffer" between wildlife and humans. Fortunately, both dogs that were playing with the raccoon have current rabies vaccinations and the owners is having them vaccinated again under state protocol.

  • Children should not touch, pick up, or feed wild or unfamiliar animals. 
  • Avoid sick or strange-acting animals. A wild animal that appears friendly, docile, or that approaches humans should be avoided. Nocturnal animals, such as raccoons and bats that become active in the daytime, are suspect.
  • Stray animals pose a continuous public health threat; not only from rabies, but from the possible bite wounds and animal attacks in general.
  • Alabama state law requires all dogs, cats, ferrets and wolf hybrids three months of age and older to be vaccinated annually for rabies.

Officials says if you war bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound with soapy water for 10 minutes and see a doctor immediately. Then, call officials at your animal control center and the health department.

Rabies is an invariably fatal viral disease with no effective treatment once symptoms begin.   Traditional rabies prevention has focused on the immunization of dogs and cats to develop the buffer between wildlife rabies and people.