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Tests confirm two rabid animals in last month

A fox and raccoon found in McDuffie County both tested positive for rabies within a month of each other, according to Environmental Health Specialist Tim Mosley of the McDuffie County Health Department.

On April 19, two dogs fought with and killed a raccoon on Ginger Hill Road. The Georgia Public Health Lab tested the raccoon's body and notified Mr. Mosley of the positive rabies result on April 27.

"Those two dogs, we are waiting on those to be surrendered to the animal shelter so they can be euthanized," Mr. Mosley said, adding that the dogs' rabies vaccinations were not up to date.

Residents on George McDuffie Road notified officials on March 22 of a fox they found on their property. According to Mr. Mosley, residents claimed nearby dogs did not fight with the fox.

"The story I got was that they found it in their yard, and it was dead," Mr. Mosley said. "...None of the dogs had any marks on them, and the fox wasn't torn up or anything like that."

The fox was sent to the lab later that day "just to send it off and see," Mr. Mosley said. Positive results came back two days later.

The last confirmed positive case of rabies in McDuffie County before the two recent cases was a raccoon found on Goett Road in January.

Health Department officials urge all McDuffie County residents to have their pets vaccinated by a registered veterinarian. They also advise residents to avoid contact with wild animals, but request that any such contact be reported by calling 706-595-1740.

Web posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006

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