North Central Health District


Health Department Investigating Possible Rabies Exposure in Macon


 Macon-Bibb County Health Department and North Central Health District are investigating possible rabies exposure that occurred at The Village Gallery and Studio Aug. 3.

Anyone who attended the “Raccoon or Kitten?” event at the studio Saturday, Aug. 3, is asked to contact the Macon-Bibb County Health Department Environmental Health Office at 478-749-0106.

The Village Gallery and Studio, located at 2368 Ingleside Ave., hosted an event Aug. 3 that offered participants an opportunity to interact with a juvenile raccoon. The raccoon, owned by a private citizen at the time of possible expose, was later given to a wildlife rehabilitation center where it then died. The raccoon was tested positive for rabies. Anyone who was in contact with the raccoon at the event, or at any time it was being cared for by the individual (July 26 – Aug. 9), is asked to call their healthcare provider and the Environmental Health Office at 478-749-0106 to aid in the investigation.

Rabies is a viral disease that can be carried by mammals and transmitted through an infected animal’s saliva through a bite or scratch. In rare cases, the virus can spread from infectious material coming in contact with a mucus membrane like eyes or nose, or an open wound. Once it enters the body, rabies attacks the brain causing encephalopathy and death.

Symptoms of rabies in humans include fever, headache and tiredness. As the illness progresses, the exposed person may experience anxiety, insomnia, confusion, excitement, hallucinations, agitation, paralysis, difficulty swallowing, hypersalivation and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the appearance of advanced symptoms.

While there is no effective treatment for rabies once symptoms of the illness appear, rabies can be prevented in humans if medical care and post-exposure prophylaxis is provided soon after exposure to the virus. Post-exposure treatment requires a series of shots, but left untreated, rabies is always fatal.

North Central Health District Environmental Health urges the public to avoid all unfamiliar animals, whether they are domestic or wild. Report bites or scratches from any animal that could potentially be unvaccinated against rabies to a healthcare provider and to the local environmental health office immediately. The Macon-Bibb County Environmental Health Office can be reached at 478-749-0106 . If calling after hours, please call the Georgia Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Learn more about rabies at

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