MINERAL BLUFF, Ga. —
Health officials confirm a North Georgia resident is undergoing treatment after being bitten by a rabid raccoon.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) says on Sunday, April 7, the person was going fishing on Hot House Creek between Curtis Switch Road and Old Mill Pond Road in Mineral Bluff, Georgia when the animal chased and bit them on the ankle.
When the animal kept chasing them, officials say the person shot and killed it.
Spokesperson Jennifer King says the raccoon has since been tested and tested positive for rabies by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory.
According to King, the resident started getting rabies postexposure vaccinations that day. Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of the rabies vaccine over a 14-day period and should begin as soon as possible after exposure.
If you are bitten or scratched by any wild mammal, the DPH says you should report it immediately to a health care provider and the local environmental health office. In Fannin County where this incident happened, you can call environmental health officials at 706-632-3024. If calling after hours, call the Georgia Poison Control Center, toll-free, at 1-800-222-1222.
Wherever you live, avoid wild or feral animals and make sure to maintain rabies vaccination in your pets. If a pet receives an initial one-year vaccine, it can receive a three-year vaccination the following year.
For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here.