Second Child Had Contact with Rabid Dog

6:48 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
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A second child may have had contact with a rabid pit bull in Houston County. That's according to Carla Coley with the North Central Health District.

13WMAZ reported Wednesday that a brown and white dog was found on Shamrock Circle off Dunbar Road in Byron. That's a Houston County address.

It tested positive for rabies after biting a child in the face. The dog was euthanized.

Coley said Thursday, another child pet that same dog but was not bitten. The child did not come in contact with the dog's saliva, which is normally how the disease is transmitted.

The Health Department advised the parent's of the child to get advice from a doctor about whether the child needs treatment.

With rabies you don't want to take chances, Coley said.

She said, "Rabies is considered 100-percent fatal. There are a few cases where a person has survived, but once a person contracts rabies its nearly 100-percent fatal."

Coley says there have been 13 confirmed cases of rabid animals in Houston County since 2011. Most were in raccoons and foxes. There was only one case in a cat, and this case was the only one confirmed in a dog.

Coley said the health department distributed about 160 notices to people who live on or around Shamrock Circle about the rabies case.

Elizabeth Penalabrada received one of the letters, urging people to protect themselves and their pets against the disease.

She and her daughter, Clementina, said they had never seen the pit bull described in the letter. They do have three dogs that are kept in a fence.

The elder Penalabrada said she found the case concerning and will be more careful in the future about petting stray animals.

"I was showing [Clementina] the paper we got in the mail and letting her know that we had a dog that had rabies on Dunbar right down the road from here," said Penalabrada. "How she doesn't need to mess with stray dogs anymore, or any animal for that matter. Cats, anything."

If you or your pet may have been exposed to the pit bull, you can contact a doctor, a veterinarian or the Houston County Health Department. That number is 478-218-2020.

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