A raccoon that made its way into the backyard of a Wilmington Island family’s home has tested positive for rabies, according to public health officials.
The Chatham County Health Department (CCHD) says the family’s dog was in the backyard at the time and picked up the raccoon in its mouth.
CCHD says the dog’s rabies vaccinations were not current. The pet will remain under observation at animal services for the next 45 days.
The health department is urging residents to make sure their pets are up-to-date on vaccinations. A raccoon killed in midtown recently tested positive for rabies as well.
The virus is primarily spread by the saliva of an infected animal. It can be deadly in some cases.
Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines after 12 weeks of age and a booster shot within one year.
Depending on your veterinarian’s recommendation, vaccinations should be updated every 1 to 3 years.
Symptoms of rabies in animals include the following: change in behavior, showing no fear, aggression, foaming at the mouth and paralysis.
If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Chatham County Animal Services at 912-652-6575 and the Chatham County Environmental Health office at 912-356-2160.