Dog near Kellyton tests positive for rabies; several people undergoing preventive treatment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Dee W. Jones, D.V.M.
(334) 206-5100 or 1-800-338-8374

The Alabama Department of Public Health has confirmed a dog near the Kellyton community in Coosa County tested positive for rabies last week. The dog was treated at the Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine before being tested for rabies.

Rabies is always a fatal infection for animals as well as humans. Several people have been identified with possible contact with the rabid dog and are undergoing necessary preventative treatment.

If the animal that bites a person cannot be found or located for rabies testing, the recommendation is for a person to receive treatment to prevent rabies. The treatment includes an immunoglobulin for immediate protection, followed by a series of vaccines over a two-week period.

The rabies virus is transmitted by saliva. In general, rabies exposure requires direct contact with infected saliva, usually through a bite or a scratch, but other less common contact exposures with mucous membranes (eyes, nose and mouth) are also considered as potential exposures.

State Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Dee W. Jones, said, “Rabies prevention is multifaceted; it involves people taking precautions with wildlife, making sure their pets are current on rabies vaccinations, and always reporting an animal bite or other exposure to their medical provider or the health department.”

The public is advised to take the following precautions to avoid possible exposure to rabies:

  • Do not allow pets to run loose; confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
  • Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.
  • Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
  • Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner.
  • Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.
  • Advise children to tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
  • A person who is bitten or scratched by an animal should wash wounds immediately with mild soap and water, apply first aid, and seek medical attention or contact the county health department immediately.

Alabama state law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with rabies vaccination. Rabies clinics are being held this year in each Alabama county. Vaccinating animals reduces the risk of rabies infection should an exposure occur; thus vaccinations help protect animals, as well as their owners and caretakers.

For more information about rabies and prevention, please contact your county health department. You may also call ADPH at 1-800-338-8374 or (334) 206-5100 or visit alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/rabies.

 

County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.

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05/29/2020


ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
RSA Tower 201 Monroe Street, Suite 910, Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 206-5300 | Fax: (334) 206-5520