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Year's first case of rabies reported
Authorities: Rabid fox bit dog, man
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County’s first rabies case of 2012 was confirmed this week.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, a rabid fox bit a dog and a man in separate incidents on Waldrip Road in north Forsyth earlier this month.

The dog, a 5-year old daschund, was attacked June 4, and the 45-year-old man was bitten the following day.

Both the dog’s owner and the man contacted the animal control unit following the incidents.

The man shot and killed the fox afterward, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Karleen Chalker said.

“The man is undergoing treatment for rabies and the dog was taken to Dr. [Lanier] Orr’s, and they’re trying to make a decision about what to do for the dog’s health,” Chalker said.

The county had one confirmed case in 2011, she said. In comparison, Hall County reported its 13th case of the year when a man was bitten by a rabid bat in early May.

Animal control officers are advising residents to be aware of animals acting aggressive.

“This could be a sign that the animal is rabid,” said Sgt. Brian DeBlois of the animal control unit. “Also, if any wildlife that would typically flee from humans does not seem afraid, or in fact, comes towards humans, this is another sign of the animal possibly being rabid.”

A news release from the sheriff’s office states that if an animal is suspected to have had blood-to-blood contact or blood-to-saliva contact with any animal, that the owner should contact a veterinarian.

In many cases, the veterinarian will advise the owner to quarantine the animal for 10 days to see if the animal exhibits any symptoms, according to the release.

During that time period, the animal should not be vaccinated until it is determined the animal had no exposure to rabies.

As far as keeping one’s pets safe, animal control urges everyone to make sure their pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations, DeBlois said.

People should contact the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit at (770) 781-2138 or call 911 if they suspect an animal of being rabid.