Confirmed rabies case in Newnan

Newnan animal warden Cyndi Hoffman announced Monday that there has been a confirmed case of rabies in the city.

On Thursday, June 3rd, an employee of Active Pest Control, 100 Werz Ind. Blvd, was attacked by a fox by the dumpster at that location. The employee killed the fox and turned it over to the animal warden where it was sent to the lab to be tested for rabies. The results came back positive, said Newnan spokesperson Gina Snider. The employee started rabies shots at the hospital on that day and will continue the series, Snider said.

On October 23, 2009, a fox at a residence on Highwoods Parkway tested positive for rabies. In July 2008, a raccoon at a residence on Pitts Street also tested positive for rabies.

Residents are urged to always keep family pets updated on vaccinations. Call your veterinarian as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

“These vaccinations are critical to your families’ and pets’ well- being,” said Officer Hoffman. People do not realize the long and intense treatments needed for humans if bitten by a rabid animal and symptoms occur it is too late. Rabies has a 99% rate fatality for humans and animals,” continued Officer Hoffman.

Officer Hoffman wanted to remind everyone there is a leash law (4-41) and a vaccination law (4-44) in the city of Newnan. Citations will be issued if caught breaking these laws. If you need to review these ordinances please log onto www.ci.newnan.ga.us

Symptoms of Rabies for animals and humans usually develop between 20 and 60 days after exposure. Rabid animals may become aggressive, combative, and highly sensitive to touch and other kinds of stimulation. And they can be vicious, said Hoffman. This is the "furious" form of rabies, the kind traditionally associated with mad dogs.

There is also a "dumb" form of the disease in which the animal is lethargic, weak in one or more limbs, and unable to raise its head or make sounds because its throat and neck muscles are paralyzed. In both kinds of animal rabies, death occurs a few days after symptoms appear, usually from respiratory failure.

Rabies infection in humans begins with symptoms such as fever, cough, or sore throat followed in several days by more serious and rapidly progressing symptoms such as restlessness, hallucinations and seizures. The final stage is coma and death.

Hoffman said tips for rabies prevention include:
-Avoid wildlife.
-Vaccinate your pets.
-Do not approach any animal unknown to you or your family.
-Secure trash in garbage cans with tight fitting lids.
-Feed and water your pets inside your home to avoid attracting wild animals.

For city of Newnan residents to report animal related issues, please call animal control at 770-254-2355.