Bat on Savannah’s southside tests positive for rabies

Rodrigues Flying Fox

Photo: Getty Images

By WTOC Staff

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:56 AM EDT

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Chatham County Health Department confirms a bat found outside of a barracks building on Hunter Army Airfield has tested positive for rabies.

They are reminding there are several species of wild animals that are native to coastal Georgia – including raccoons, foxes, and bats – able to carry rabies. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that is primarily spread by infected animals.

The Chatham County Health Department Environmental Health office is sharing tips to protect you and your family from rabies:

  • Avoid contact with animals you don’t know.
  • Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations and boosters as advised by your veterinarian.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. “Love your own, leave other animals alone” is a good principle for children to learn.

Some symptoms in animals you can spot include, a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.

If an animal ever bites you, Chatham County Health Department Environmental Health office says 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.

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