On Tuesday, March 24, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement collected a raccoon that tested positive for rabies, according to Fox 5 News. The raccoon had been attacked by dogs at 517 Buford Highway in Buford and was brought to the shelter the same day for testing.

Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement and the Gwinnett County Health Department are urging residents to avoid wild animals such as foxes, raccoons, and others that can transmit the virus through scratches or bites.

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system and, if untreated, is typically fatal for humans. Early symptoms of the virus include headache, weakness, fever and discomfort.

Residents of Gwinnett County who may have been exposed, or have an animal that may have been exposed, are advised to seek immediate treatment.

Animal Welfare and Enforcement recommends that pet owners get regular vaccinations for their animals, secure their pets on their property, and refrain from leaving garbage or pet food outside where it may attract wild or stray animals.

To report an animal and have it picked up, residents should call the Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770-339-3200, ext. 5576, or the non-emergency after hours line at 770-513-5700.

People who may have been exposed should contact the Gwinnett County Health Department at 770-339-4260 and ask for the epidemiologist on call.

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