Laboratory tests conducted by the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed that the rabid coyote that was involved in two altercations in Roswell, Georgia’s Leita Thompson Park on July 10 and 11, 2016, did indeed harbor the raccoon variant of the virus.
In other words, this coyote contracted the disease from a raccoon, which is the primary reservoir for the rabies virus here in the southeast.
Raccoons and coyotes are generally antagonistic towards one another, which we discussed in a previous post, so none of this is surprising. Rabid animals generally only live for a short time (5-7 days), so we are almost certain that the same coyote was involved in both incidents and it was killed after the second attack.
As far as we know, rabies in Georgia is a rarity, particularly in coyotes, but we will continue to help monitor the situation in Roswell.