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Saturday February 6th, 2016 2:26AM

Rabid cat bites Gainesville resident

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - Hall County has just recorded its third rabies case of the year, and this time, the rabid animal bit a person.

Hall County Animal Control Director Mike Ledford said the incident happened late last week when the person, whose name was not released, picked up the cat at a home on Rosewood Drive in the city of Gainesville. The cat was sent to the Georgia Public Health Lab, and positive test results arrived at Ledford's office Tuesday morning.

"They[the bite victim] are okay," said Ledford. "Because of HIPPA, I can't realease any information about the victim, but they are okay and they've been notified to speak with their physician about whatever medical treatment they need."

Because Rosewood Drive is in the vicinity of three Gainesville schools - Centennial Arts Academy, Woods Mills Academy and Gainesville High School - Ledford said school officials were notified of the incident.

"We personally notified them and let them know what's going on, just to tell them to have a heightened level of awareness and to let us know if they see any [animal] that is acting out of the norm," said Ledford.

Ledford said three cases of rabies is not an unusual number for this time of year. Still, he said it is unusual for a human to be bitten by a rabid animal.

He is encouraging pet owners to make sure animals have an up-t-date rabies vaccination. Vaccines are available at the Hall County Animal Shelter Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $10.

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