MACON, Ga. — The Macon-Bibb County Health Department is investigating a possible rabies exposure that happened at an Aug. 3 event at The Village Gallery and Studio.

According to the health department, the Village hosted a ‘Raccoon or Kitten’ event that Saturday, which gave people the opportunity to interact with a juvenile raccoon.

The raccoon, who was owned by a private citizen at the time of the event, was given to a wildlife rehab center where it later died and tested positive for rabies.

Anyone who was in contact with the raccoon at the event, or around the time the person had the raccoon (July 26 – Aug. 9) is asked to call their healthcare provider and call the Environment Health Office at 478-749-0106.

The health department says rabies is a viral disease that can be carried by mammals and transmitted through an infected animal’s saliva through a bite or scratch. Once it enters the body, rabies attacks the brain causing encephalopathy and death.

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

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