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13-year-old Brunswick girl attacked by feral cat with confirmed rabies last week

Feral cat determined to have rabies who attacked others last week.

A 13-year-old Glynn County girl in the Brunswick’s Waverly Pines neighborhood was attacked by a feral cat with rabies on May 17th, and her mother wants people to take precautions.

Christina Carroll wants the public to know that they need to be aware of their surroundings. Her 13-year-old daughter was taking the trash out when a feral cat attacked from behind the trash can. The cat scratched her daughter on the knee. After the cat attacked the girl, it ran across the street and attacked the neighbor getting out of their car, according to Carroll.

“My mother called me after calling the ambulance and animal control, so I got there when the ambulance and animal control arrived. I was there when the cat attacked the neighbor, and I took my daughter to the hospital,“ said Carroll. “We have never seen that cat around the neighborhood before. There are lots of cats out there but never seen that particular cat.”

Animal control told Carroll that the cat didn’t act like it had rabies, but the cat became very aggressive and started panting when it was captured. After the cat was removed, Environmental Health contacted Christina Carroll and informed her she did not have anything to worry about.  Later, Carroll received another call from Environmental Health informing her that the cat did have signs of rabies and to take the child to the hospital for treatment. Carroll took her daughter to Southeast Georgia Health System to be treated.

The cat’s head was decapitated and sent off for rabies testing. On Friday, Environmental Health confirmed the cat did have rabies based on findings of the test.  Carroll’s daughter is receiving treatment which is a series of 24 shots to be taken over several days with antibiotics. Carroll said the first round of shots were administered near the site of the attack, the knee, and the rest were administered in both arms.

Carroll tells parents to take precautions and make sure to teach kids to look at their surroundings.

“If you have kids around that area please be aware and keep them safe my daughter was simply walking to the trash can and got attacked for no reason; she didn’t even see the cat at first.”

Carroll informed AllOnGeorgia that she contacted Environmental Health again about how to prevent further attacks and rid the neighborhood of all the stray cats.  She said Environmental Health told her that she could place a deposit of $25.00 for a trap and catch the stray cats of their own and would be refunded if they caught an animal.

“They [Environmental Health] couldn’t set the traps because they were feral cats; which doesn’t make any sense to me. I just hope the adults keep their kids safe,” said Carroll.

The Glynn County Health Department put out an advisory after the attacks occurred and advised residents to have pets vaccinated against rabies and keep vaccinations current. Residents should avoid contact of any kind with wild or strange acting animals to prevent contracting the disease.

For more information, contact the county health department at 912-264-3961.

Jeremy Spencer grew up in rural South Georgia and has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, school administrator, and state education official. Jeremy is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus is local news, statewide education issues, and statewide political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as an education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns. Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. Jeremy has lived in Camden County for over 17 years.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Sally Silbermann

    May 23, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Hello Jeremy,
    I recently read the article you wrote about the rabies-positive cat in Brunswick and I wanted to point out some incorrect information that appeared in the article. The Glynn County Environmental Health office does not place animal traps. Animal traps or any fees associated with placing them would fall under animal control. Environmental Health’s role is to investigate reported bites and possible rabies exposure; facilitate testing if the animal can be found; advise anyone exposed to seek appropriate medical treatment; and inform the public about the incident including taking precautions to avoid rabies.
    I would sincerely appreciate if you would correct that in the article. Thanks so much and please let me know if you have any questions.
    Sally Silbermann
    Public Information Officer/Risk Communicator
    Coastal Health District

  2. Avatar

    Jim Siler

    May 25, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    If I lived in Mrs. Carroll’s neighborhood I would be courious if that is an area that has a managed TNR colony of cats. In 2014, the Board of Commisioners passed an ordinance making TNR a legal practice. Yes, most all TNR or TNVR programs vaccinate the cats against rabies but the environment created with TNR practices invites other wild animals that carrier rabies to share territory with cats. TNR should concern local health officials knowing that it’s not possible to adequately monitor these cats that are sharing territory with the raccoons and other high risk carriers of rabies. If my daughter was exposed to rabies in an area that the county leaders had sanction TNR I would have some serious questions for BOC, Animal Control and especially local health officials officials! This must have been traumatic for everyone exposed and the treatments are very costly.

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