Six-month quarantine clears Columbia County herd of rabies

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 9:46 AM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 2:39 PM
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A herd of cattle quarantined after being attacked in July by a rabid coyote has been given a clean bill of health.

“The six-month quarantine involving the rabid coyote and the cows will end on Jan. 15, 2009, and all are fine,” said Columbia County Emergency Services director Pam Tucker. “They did lose that one right after the event, but all of the remaining cattle are fine.”

The July 21 incident occurred at a farm owned by John Knox on Scotts Ferry Road near Appling, where a coyote was observed attacking an adult cow. Farmhands killed the coyote, which tested positive for rabies.

Mr. Knox was notified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture that all cows that were in the pasture at the time of the attack were to be quarantined for observation for six months to be sure none were infected.

Mrs. Tucker said there were 12 cases of rabies confirmed in Columbia County this year – the highest number ever recorded. “We usually have a lot less, maybe five or six.”

On Sept. 10, two Martinez women were hospitalized after being attacked by a rabid fox that was later killed by deputies.

That incident occurred on Creekwalk Circle near The Pass, when the two victims – aged 67 and 72 – were sitting on a front porch. Both were treated with tetanus shots and antibiotics.

Most rabies cases involve foxes and raccoons, but infected coyotes are rare. During 2006, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, only 10 such cases were confirmed in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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