Health officials announce rabies alert - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Health officials announce rabies alert

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August 2, 2007
from the SW Ga. Public Health District

Rabies exposure alert re: 2007 Georgia Junior Beef Show July 18-21

Public health authorities are investigating possible human and animal exposures to a Hereford calf (red color with white head, brisket, and switch; see photo) diagnosed with rabies that participated in the 2007 Georgia Junior Beef Futurity Show in Perry, from Wednesday afternoon, July 18, through Saturday, July 21, 2007. 

On Saturday, July 21, the calf began to demonstrate signs of altered behavior and weakness during the show.  The calf was taken home Saturday, July 21, and died on the farm Wednesday, July 25.  Rabies was confirmed as the cause of illness and death on Friday, July 27, 2007. 

Epidemiologists and Environmentalists from the Georgia Division of Public Health and the North Central Health District are working with UGA Extension organizers and the Georgia Department of Agriculture to identify people and animals that may have had exposure to the rabies virus during the show.

Rabies virus is transmitted in the saliva of sick animals and must penetrate the skin through a bite or cut in the hand or the mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes) of a person or animal to be spread. Infection is always fatal. All persons that had direct contact with the saliva of the calf (especially placing hands in the calf's mouth) are asked to contact the Georgia Division of Public Health at (404) 657-2588 and speak to a public health veterinarian about their possible exposure to the rabies virus.

Rabies is a preventable disease with post exposure vaccination.  If you are concerned about your or a family member's possible exposure to this calf, please call the Georgia Division of Public Health (404) 657-2588 and speak to a public health veterinarian about your exposure and potential need for post exposure vaccination.