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Hall confirms 18th rabies case: Raccoon bite forces woman to take shots
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The number of confirmed rabies cases in Hall County has jumped to 18.

The two most recent cases both stem from incidents that occurred Friday. In Buford, a woman was attacked by a raccoon in her driveway. She sought refuge in her car, but not before being bitten on the leg. Officials say she is receiving medical treatment, including preventive rabies shots.

The other case happened near Twin Springs Road in East Hall, where a fox came into contact with two domestic dogs. Rick Aiken, president of the Humane Society of Hall County, said the dogs were unvaccinated and are being kept under quarantine at the county animal shelter.

The raccoon and fox were killed and shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab in Decatur, which confirmed Wednesday afternoon that both tested positive for rabies.

With 18 rabid animals in just the first four months of 2008, Hall County has had triple the number of cases it usually has each year.

"None of us have ever seen anything like this," Aiken said. "We were hoping it would get better, but it doesn’t seem to be."

Aiken said Hall residents should be careful not to attract wildlife to their homes.

"I strongly suggest that if anybody is feeding a pet outside, they should take up the food at night," he said.

Aiken also is still encouraging people to get their pets vaccinated. The Humane Society is sponsoring two additional rabies vaccination clinics this month, the first on May 10 at the Wal-Mart on Shallowford Road, the other on May 24 at Jaemor Farms in North Hall.

Both clinics are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Shots cost $10. Dogs and cats must be at least 3 months old and must be restrained on a leash or in a carrier.

For information about the clinics, call the Humane Society at 770-532-6617. To report a suspected case of rabies, call Hall County Animal Control at 770-531-6830.