Houston Co. Reports 1st Rabies Case of 2013

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DOTHAN, AL - Houston County's first case of animal rabies in 2013 has been confirmed by the Houston County Health Department. A raccoon found March 8, 2013, on Timbers Drive in Dothan, Alabama, has been tested and found to be positive for the disease.

According to a health department investigation, the home owner found the raccoon dead after fighting with her dogs. The resident requested the health department test the raccoon for rabies. There was known human exposure or possible exposure to body fluids and or tissues from the raccoon after the incident. In addition the dogs involved are currently vaccinated against the rabies virus. The health department strongly recommended the residents to seek immediate advice of a licenses physician.

Residents of the area are advised to take the following precautions:
1) Make sure your pets are current on their rabies vaccinations.
2) Caution children not to pet or play with wild or stray animals.
3) Report stray animals to animal control officials.
4) If bitten by an animal, wash the wound with soap and water then immediately seek medical attention and report the bite to the health department or animal control officials.

Alabama State Law requires all dogs and cats three months of age and older to be vaccinated against rabies. In 2012, there were five rabid animals found in Houston County. They included four raccoons and one bat.