Public advised to use caution around animals acting oddly
GWINNETT COUNTY– Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement and the Gwinnett County Health Department advise residents to use caution and avoid animals behaving in unusual ways after a cat tested positive for the rabies virus.
On Thursday, Sept.7, a rabid cat bit its owner near the 4000 block of Annistown Road in Snellville. The cat later tested positive for rabies.
Rabies can be transmitted to humans and pets through bites or scratches from wild animals such as foxes and raccoons.
All pet owners should ensure that their pets are current on rabies vaccination.
According to the National Association of State Health Veterinarians, unvaccinated dogs and cats exposed to a rabid animal must be strictly quarantined for four months and vaccinated one month prior to being released.
The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system and is almost always fatal in human, if untreated. Early symptoms of rabies in people include fever, headache and general weakness or discomfort.
If you or your child have been bitten or scratched by any stray animals or suspected rabid animal, immediate preventive treatment is necessary.
Seek medical care immediately and inform the healthcare provider of the exposure. Then, contact the Gwinnett County Health Department at 770-339-4260 and ask for the on-call epidemiologist.
To report the animal and have it picked up, please call the Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770-339-3200 ext. 5576; for after-hours assistance, contact non-emergency Dispatch at 770-513-5700.