Brunswick County fox tests positive for rabies after attacking three people

BRUNSWICK COUNTY –– A fox in Brunswick County tested positive for rabies this week. County health officials are reminding residents to stay aware and take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from potentially rabid animals.

A county release states a fox is suspected to be connected to two attacks that occurred in southern Brunswick County Wednesday. Two individuals were attacked in Ocean Isle Beach and another individual in Sunset Beach was attacked after. Each person attacked sustained bites and scratches.

After the second attack, the fox was put down and tested for rabies. The person from the Sunset Beach attack reported seeing an emaciated racoon who was unafraid of humans, both signs of rabies.


The county shared the following steps to protect loved ones from rabies:

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep the vaccinations current. North Carolina rabies law requires that all owned dogs, cats, and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age.
  • Supervise pets outdoors, and keep all pets on a leash.
  • Do not feed pets outdoors. Pet food attracts wildlife.
  • Do not feed wildlife, feral cats or feral dogs.
  • Secure garbage cans with wildlife-proof lids.
  • Leave young wildlife alone. If you find a juvenile animal that appears to need help, it is best to leave it alone and call a wildlife professional.

If you happen to have been bitten or scratched by an animal you suspect may have rabies, the county asks you to follow these steps:

  • Clean the wound well with soap and running water for 15 minutes and contact your doctor. The doctor will determine if a series of rabies vaccinations will be needed.
  • Note the location and a description of the animal to provide to animal control.
  • Do not try to catch any wild animal that bites or scratches you. Call animal control immediately to capture the animal for rabies testing.
  • If the animal is someone’s pet, get the owner’s name and address and provide them to the animal control officer. Any mammal can transmit rabies. The animal that bit you, depending on the species and circumstances, must be evaluated or tested for rabies.

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