GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. -

A Glynn County resident was bitten by a fox that has tested positive for rabies, and as a result, Glynn County Health Department environmental health officials are encouraging residents to be aware of unusual behavior in wildlife.

The incident took place near the intersection of Old Jesup Road and Community Road. Health officials are asking residents that live in and around that region and the Ballard Park area to pay particular attention to wild animals acting strangely.

Anyone that has come into physical contact with a fox in the Old Jesup Road/Community Road/Ballard Park areas is asked to call the Glynn County Environmental Health Division at 912-279-2940.

Symptoms of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth, and paralysis. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that is primarily spread by infected animals.

Residents should always avoid contact with wild or stray animals, watch for unusual behavior in pets and wildlife, and get pets vaccinated against rabies. Leaving food outdoors for family pets or undomesticated animals can attract potentially rabid wildlife.

The Glynn County Health Department offers these tips to protect you and your family from rabies:

  • Avoid contact with animals you don't know.
  • Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations. Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines by four months of age, followed by a booster shot one year later, and another one every one or three years depending on the type of vaccine used.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. "Love your own, leave other animals alone" is a good principle for children to learn.

If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Glynn County Animal Control at 912-554-7500 and the Glynn County Health Department Environmental Health Division at 912-279-2940.