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Raccoon at public event in Macon dies from rabies. Here’s what to know if you were there.

A raccoon that was part of a public event in Macon on Aug. 3 has died of rabies.

Anyone who was at the “Raccoon or Kitten?” event is asked to contact their doctor or the Macon-Bibb County Health Department Environmental Health Office at 478-749-0106.

The event held at The Village Gallery and Studio on Ingleside Avenue allowed participants to interact with a juvenile raccoon, according to a release from the North Central Health District.

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

Anyone who thinks they may have had contact with the raccoon at any other time from July 26 to Aug. 9 is also asked to seek medical care. Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by a bite or scratch, but in rare cases it can spread by infectious material coming in contact with mucus membrane such as the eyes, nose or an open wound, the release stated.

A series of shots can prevent the disease from developing, but once symptoms appear it is always fatal, the release stated.

Michael Hokanson, spokesman for the North Central Health District, said it hasn’t been determined yet whether anyone who had contact with the raccoon will need shots. He said that will decision will be made after interviews with those who may be at risk.

Wayne Crenshaw has worked as a journalist since 1990 and has been a reporter for The Telegraph since 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Georgia College and is a resident of Warner Robins.
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