Rabies in Georgia is a much larger problem than many people realize.
Recently, a family of five in Johns Creek were potentially exposed to rabies. Unfortunately, once they caught the bat flying around their home in the middle of the day, they threw it outside instead of submitting it for testing. This means the entire family is now undergoing rabies shots.
Rabies in Georgia, much like everywhere else is nearly 100% fatal. Once signs appear, you’re a gonner. Which makes undergoing rabies shots a necessity if there are any questions of exposure.
Rabies shots are not typically covered by your medical insurance. If you are one of the lucky ones that does have it covered, that’s great! Otherwise, you would have to come up with $70,000 for a family of five to undergo rabies shots…. That’s $14,000 per person in case you wanted to break it down.
This is actually a conservative estimate on cost. One case we recently worked with in California had to pay $20,000 per person to undergo rabies shots.
Staggering Rabies in Georgia Fact
One of the most staggering facts about rabies in Georgia, is that Georgia actually leads the nation in rabies outbreaks.
The most common carrier of rabies in Georgia is raccoons but foxes are quickly rising on their number of cases as well. Unfortunately for foxes, they are usually bitten by a raccoon to contract rabies themselves.
Bats actually have a very low percentage of rabies outbreaks. It is estimated that only between one and three percent of all bats have rabies in Georgia. The problem with a bat encounter is that it is usually much more difficult to determine if an exposure happened or to catch the bat for testing.
Bats have extremely small teeth. So small that most people bitten by a bat don’t even feel it.
Bats will also invade and live in your home. Bat infestations sometimes take years for homeowners to catch. Most people catch the problem when they have a bat in their bedroom at night or worse, in their child’s bedroom. Which means, if you don’t catch the bat, you will most likely have to have rabies shots.
Save Your Cash
While rabies in Georgia is clearly not completely avoidable, there are things you can do to save your money and not undergo painful rabies shots.
- Make sure your dogs and cats are regularly vaccinated for rabies by a veterinarian.
- Teach children not to play with any animals they don’t know. (Alive or dead)
- If you work in a high risk rabies exposure job, it is recommended you receive the pre-exposure vaccine. (Much cheaper and less painful.)
- If you are traveling to a country where canine rabies has not been eliminated, you should also consider the vaccine.
- If you are bitten by a wild animal, make all attempts to safely capture the animal so it can be tested. If it comes back negative for rabies, you won’t have to undergo the treatment.
- If you are not able to capture the animal alive, avoid any crushing of the head. The brain has to be tested for rabies and this can’t be done with traumatic injury to it.
For more information on rabies in Georgia, please visit the Georgia Department of Health’s website here: https://dph.georgia.gov/rabies. They have invaluable information on rabies in Georgia. You can also visit our other blogs on rabies.
If you have a bat problem in your home, we recommend not putting off tackling it. While it may seem expensive up front, you won’t have to try to come up with $70,000 for rabies shots…
Your local bat removal expert,