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Bat found near Dearing confirmed as rabid

A Hillman-Gay Road resident had a scary encounter on Aug. 30. According to Tim Mosley, environmental heath specialist with the McDuffie County Health Department, the resident's dog was exposed to a rabid bat that day.

The incident took place southeast of Dearing in the "Five Points" area. The Health Department sent the bat to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory for testing, and on Sept. 1, was notified of the positive results for rabies.

A press release from the Health Department stated that the dog will not be put down because its rabies vaccinations were current. It is, however, currently under a mandatory 45-day observation.

The last two confirmed cases of rabies in the county took place this past spring. On April 19, two dogs fought with and killed a rabid raccoon on Ginger Hill Road. Then on March 22, residents on George McDuffie Road notified officials of a dead fox found on their property that later tested positive for rabies.

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, September 14, 2006

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