Rabid fox bit 3rd Carroll County resident in 2 months, health officials say

Health officials are treating a third person that has been bitten by a rabid fox in Carroll County in the last six week.

The bite took place last Thursday near Lepard and Glenloch roads in Roopville, according to the health officials. The fox was captured and tested by state health officials. Results released on Wednesday confirmed the fox had the virus.

The victim was told to begin taking the Post Exposure Prophylaxis to prevent human rabies.

Two other rabid foxes were caught in late May, both within two-tenths of a mile of each other near the area of Highway 78 in Villa Rica and Old Villa Rica Road in Temple.

That area is less than nine miles west of the Winston area of Douglas County where a fox was found dead after attacking a family dog. It also tested positive for the virus.

“If you notice a wild or nocturnal animal moving about in the daytime and the animal appears to show no fear of people or the animal seems to behave in a sick or abnormal way, the animal may be infected with rabies,” said Melinda Knight, District 4 Public Health’s environmental health director.  “People should avoid animals acting out of character and report it to animal control or their local environmental health office.”

Rabies, which causes encephalopathy, is easily preventable. Its symptoms include fever, headache, insomnia, confusion, hallucinations, a slight or partial paralysis, hypersalivation, and/or difficulty swallowing. Ultimately, the virus can be fatal.

“It is important to remember that although rabies occurs more often in wildlife, domestic animals like the family dog or cat can become infected as well,” he said.

The good news is it is treatable and preventable. For more information visit the Georgia Division of Public Health at www.dph.georgia.gov/rabies or the CDC at cdc.gov/rabies.

Residents can also call the Carroll County Animal Control Office for more information at 770-834-8150 or the Carroll County Environmental Health Office at 770-836-6781.

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