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Raccoon tests positive
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Slowly but surely, Dawson County resident Grace Brown is recovering from being attacked by a raccoon on April 21.

"That leg has been really sore," she said.

Planning and Development Director David McKee said the raccoon tested positive for rabies.

Brown was attacked while she was hiking at Wildcat Campground, located off Steve Tate Highway in the northwestern part of the county. She said the raccoon charged at her four times. Then she and another hiker ran down to the river while they waited for emergency services.

"You can' t imagine the relief to see a man in uniform with a gun," Brown said of deputies and emergency services personnel who answered the call.

"The EMT guys are always so nice," she said.

Brown is still undergoing treatment for the bites on her leg. She is receiving treatment for rabies, which involves four post-exposure vaccination shots: one shot the day of the bite and then the third, seventh and fourteenth days afterward. A dose of post-exposure prophylaxis is also administered to the wound.

Brown said when she received her third shot, her doctor thought she might have a blood clot; fortunately, it was just a hematoma.

While she may not return to Wildcat Campground, Brown said she plans to go hiking again. "I don't know if I can go back down there again," she said.

McKee said there have not been any other reports of rabid or suspiciously acting animals in the area.

When a rabid animal is found in a rural area, McKee said his department notifies people in the general area. If the location is rural, county personnel, knock on doors and leave brochures.

According to the CDC, rabies infects the central nervous system. If left untreated, it can lead to disease in the brain and ultimately death.