Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is most often transmitted through infected saliva that enters the body by way of an animal bite. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and is fatal once symptoms start to occur. Initial symptoms are characterized by a headache, fever, malaise and pain or itching at the site of the animal bite.

It is extremely important to report animal bites and to seek medical attention in a timely manner if bitten by a high-risk animal (e.g. bats, racoons, skunks, or foxes). Your provider will assess the risk of rabies and determine if rabies post-exposure prophylaxis is appropriate.

The Georgia Poison Center provides rabies consultations for health care providers, veterinarians, and the general public 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at 404-616-9000.


Contact DPH Epidemiology

For questions about disease surveillance contact public health.

Epidemiology Main Line:  (404) 657-2588

Fax:  (404) 657-2608

24/7 Reporting Line:  1-866-PUB-HLTH (+1 866-782-4584)

Page last updated: 7/11/2023