Rabies is not a new problem, but 2014 has already brought about higher cases of the outbreak in Georgia than in recent years. With the recent surge in these deadly cases, Georgians should be prepared to recognize rabid animals and how to seek treatment as soon as possible after exposure.
The Georgia Department of Public Health says that rabies is typically carried by wild animals such as coyotes, foxes, bats, raccoons and skunks. These animals can then infect domestic pets such as dogs and cats. The virus is spread when a rabid animal bites another animal and the infectious saliva is transmitted.
The sad reality is that once the symptoms of rabies arise in a human, it is already too late for treatment. Rabies is fatal unless a person seeks treatment as soon as he or she is exposed.
Rabies can be prevented by making sure your pets are properly vaccinated against the disease. Also, children should be taught that it’s not a good idea to pet wild animals. If you work with animals or are traveling to a foreign country where rabies is endemic, you should get the rabies vaccination for humans.