Forsyth County’s second confirmed rabies case this year has authorities reminding residents to use caution around animals.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Deblois said a raccoon was sent for testing Sept. 22 after a man in the Saint Marlo subdivision shot and killed it with a BB gun.
Deblois said the animal attacked the man’s dog, which was later quarantined.
According to state law, vaccinated pets that are bitten by another animal must be quarantined for 10 days by the owner or a veterinarian.
Authorities were notified Wednesday that the raccoon had tested positive for the deadly disease.
“That’s our second confirmed case in the county,” Deblois said. “One in the north and one in the south.”
On July 5, a camper at a creek along Cantrell Road, near the Dawson County line, killed a raccoon that tried to bite him.
The St. Marlo encounter was also the county’s second confirmed case of rabies since 2007.
Neighboring Hall County has had 16 confirmed cases in 2009, a year after leading the state with 43 cases.
Rabies, which affects the nervous system and brain, is commonly carried in Georgia by raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, but can be carried by any warm-blooded animal. It is transmitted through blood and body fluids, such as saliva or mucus.
The only way to test for the virus is by removing the brain and examining it.
Deblois said authorities also received a complaint Tuesday from a man who said a raccoon bit his leg on Samaritan Drive in Cumming.
“It ran off into the woods,” he said. “We’re actively trying to trap it.”
The man has been treated for the wound, said Deblois, who cautioned residents to watch out for animals behaving strangely.
Signs that an animal may have rabies include a lack of fear of humans, foaming at the mouth and being unsteady on its feet.
Anyone who suspects that an animal may have rabies should report it to the sheriff’s office.