LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - A second rabies scare in Lowndes County has officials warning the community to be on the lookout after an opossum tested positive in the area.
This comes only weeks after a 6-year-old was bitten by a rabid fox.
It is imperative for pet owners to make sure their animals have been vaccinated because contact of any kind with a feral animal that's rabid would be life-threatening to not only your pet but yourself as well.
The opossum that tested positive for rabies also came in contact with three dogs who are now quarantined because they had not received their rabies shots.
This is the second rabid incident in North Lowndes County.
Two weeks ago, a 6-year-old-girl was bitten by a rabid fox but has since recovered.
"Please go to your local vet, there's some of the businesses here in town that offer rabies vaccinations, have your animal vaccinated, this is something that is a very low cost on the front end, to have that animal vaccinated. But if your animal contracts rabies, that's a death sentence," said Lowndes County Public Information Officer Paige Dukes.
The moments following a bite from a rabid animal are crucial.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first thing you need to do is wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.
That's one of the most effective ways to decrease the chance of infection.
Your doctor will determine if you need a rabies vaccination based on the animal and the level of exposure.
Rabid animals are especially dangerous because you can't easily tell if they're infected. The only way to know for sure is through laboratory tests.
The CDC warns you should never feed or approach wild animals.
If you see one acting strangely, you should call animal control.