Enforces home quarantines for cats and dogs, locates persons exposed to rabid animals and alerts the public of rabies outbreaks.
Rabies is a serious disease that is caused by a virus. Any mammal can get rabies, but the highest risk animals are bats and raccoons. Rabies is spread through saliva, usually from a bite of an animal that has the disease. Rabies can be prevented by a rabies vaccine before or after an exposure.
To prevent rabies, it is important to:
- Vaccinate your dogs, cats and ferrets against rabies.
- Keep your pets under supervision.
- Do not handle wild animals. If you see a wild animal or a stray, especially if the animal is acting strangely, call DeKalb County Animal Services and Enforcement at (404) 294-2996.
Rabies is nearly 100% fatal once symptoms begin showing, so it is important to seek appropriate treatment and report the incident if you or your pet are ever bitten by an animal.
- Clean the wound and seek medical treatment. For a severe bite wound, immediately go to the ER.
- Call the Office of Epidemiology at (404) 508-7870 for guidance on rabies post-exposure prophylaxis and to report the animal bite.
The DeKalb County Board of Health does NOT offer the required rabies immune globulin injection, but the Office of Epidemiology can help you identify a location and schedule the follow-up vaccine doses at the Board of Health.
- Call DeKalb County Animal Services and Enforcement at (404) 294-2996 for advice on quarantining a pet or to pick up a wild/stray animal for rabies testing. They can also provide guidance if your pet was bitten or attacked by another animal.
All pets that have bitten people or other animals must be quarantined as well as any pet that may have been exposed to a rabid animal. The quarantine allows time to find out if the animal has rabies. Pets that are up to date on their rabies vaccine may qualify to be quarantined at home. For more information about home quarantines, see below or call Animal Services and Enforcement at (404) 294-2996.
- DeKalb County Animal Services and Enforcement
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rabies Information
- CDC’s Rabies Web Page That’s Just for Kids!
- Georgia Rabies Control Manual
- Georgia Poison Center
- (404) 616-9000 (Atlanta Area)
- (800) 222-1222 (Toll Free)
- Georgia Department of Public Health, Division of Public Health Epidemiology Branch
- CDC Clinician Information Line – 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)