Earlier this week, a Hall County man was bitten by a rabid bat in the northwestern portion of the county.
According to David Jones, Hall County Animal Control assistant director, the man was walking near a creek in the area of Centurion Drive when he saw what appeared to be a dead bat in the water. The bat, however, was alive and bit him on the finger.
After removing the bat from his finger, he called animal control, who sent the bat to the lab for rabies testing. The animal was confirmed positive for the disease by Georgia Public Health on Thursday.
The man has been referred to his doctor for treatment, but it is still uncertain if he contracted the disease because of its two-week incubation period.
This is the 13th rabies case reported in the county this year.
“If we keep going at this rate, we’re going to have a pretty busy year for rabies,” Jones said.
Jones said they only have a few reports a year for bats. Skunks and raccoons are the most common in the area.
Animal control urges residents in the area to contact animal services if they see any animal acting abnormally.
To report a possibly rabid animal, call Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830, or Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812 during nonworking hours.
Animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their pets and livestock for rabies. Vaccines are available for $10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the Hall County Animal Shelter at 1688 Barber Road in Gainesville and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia at 845 W. Ridge Road in Gainesville. Vaccines are also available from local veterinarians.