COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A racoon in Columbus tested positive for rabies, according to the Columbus Department of Public Health.

The racoon was found in the area of Buena Vista Road near Eastwood Drive. It was tested on Aug. 8.

The health department is advising residents and visitors to take the following precautions:

  • “Do not pick up or handle any stray or wild animals.
  • Report any animal bites and/or scratches to Columbus Animal Care & Control Center AND the Columbus Environmental Health Office.
  • Contact Columbus Animal Care & Control Center to report any animals which are behaving strangely or aggressively.
  • If your pet or livestock is behaving strangely or is injured contact your local veterinarian immediately
  • Teach children about the dangers of stray and wild animals.
  • Have all of your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies
  • If you are bitten or scratched by any animal:
    1.   Wash and rinse the wound thoroughly for several minutes
    2.   Apply a disinfectant
    3.   Seek medical attention immediately
    4.   Report the bite/scratch to Columbus Animal Care & Control Center or the Columbus Environmental Health Office”

Anyone who has come into contact with a racoon is asked to call the Columbus Environmental Health Office and Columbus Animal Care & Control Center. A physician should also be contacted.