This summer, rabies is once again a concern for Gwinnett County residents in general and pet owners in particular. There have already been seven confirmed cases of rabies in our county compared to 7 cases for the entire year of 2016. See the 2017 rabies bite incident report.
The Gwinnett County Animal Welfare webpage lists some important points to remember:
- “Rabid animals may act tame, or display strange and unusual behavior. They may act aggressive, avoid food and water, foam at the mouth, and have trouble moving.
- Teach your children not to go near, tease, or play with wild animals or strange dogs and cats.
- Stay away from wild, sick, hurt, or dead animals. Do not pick up or move sick or hurt animals. If you find a wild, sick, or hurt animal, call Gwinnett County Police Animal Welfare and Enforcement at 770.339.3200.
- Do not keep wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes as pets. It is dangerous and also illegal.
- Make sure your pets get their rabies shots regularly.
- Keep your pets on your property.
- Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. Food left out may attract wild or stray animals
More information can be found on the Animal Welfare website.
“If you or your child have been bit or scratched by any stray animals, please call the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770.339.3200 ext. 5576 or the after-hours non-emergency dispatch at 770.513.5700.” And definitely seek medical attention.
“Without treatment, rabies infection in humans is nearly 100 percent fatal.”