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Positive rabies test warrants caution

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - Newton County Animal Control is advising residents to use caution and avoid any animal acting in a strange or unusual way after a child was bitten by a raccoon that tested positive for the rabies virus. 

This attack occurred in southwest Newton County near Highway 162 and Parr Farm Road. This is the first positive rabies case in Newton County this year.

The Center for Disease Control lists raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats as the primary carriers of the rabies virus.

Pet owners should ensure that all pets have the current rabies vaccination.  Unvaccinated animals that have been exposed to rabies should be euthanized immediately or placed in strict quarantine at an approved facility for six months and vaccinated one month prior to being released to the owner.

Rabid animals may act aggressive, display strange or unusual behavior or seem tame, not showing the normal fear that most wild animals have of humans. Exposed animals may have trouble walking, foam at the mouth or avoid food and water. 

How to help protect you and your family from rabies

  • Do not approach wild, sick, hurt or dead animals. If you find a sick or injured animal contact Newton County Animal Control at 770-786-9514
  • Teach your children to stay away from wild animals or unknown cats and dogs
  • Make sure all pets have regular veterinary care including rabies vaccination.  Keep your pets on your property.
  • Do not leave garbage or pet food outside that will attract wild or stray animals to your home