Monday, August 15, 2022

Fox connected to attacks tests positive for rabies

A rabid fox connected to two attacks in Brunswick County tested positive for rabies. (Courtesy Pexels)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A rabid fox connected to two attacks in Brunswick County tested positive for rabies, according to officials.

The animal was euthanized upon being captured and sent to a lab for examination. Brunswick County Health Services were informed last week of results and noted the victims are receiving rabies vaccinations.

Two separate incidents took place in the western part of the county; this comes after an individual attack was reported May 16. Both county health services and its Animal Protective Services have collaborated to investigate the incidents, according to a release.

They’re also reminding residents to seek medical attention immediately after a bite or attack of a wild animal, as to prevent any human fatality. “Rabies in infected humans can be prevented by prompt medical attention and vaccination,” the county stated in a release.

Increased development has pushed many animals out of their habitats. Foxes, raccoons, opossums, skunks and coyotes have adapted to cohabiting in neighborhoods.

North Carolina is home to two kinds of fox: the red fox and gray fox. They measure up to 16 inches in height and weigh up to 15 pounds. It is illegal across the state to live-trap animals, like foxes, and relocate them, the county reminds.

Measures to consider to protect yourself and pets against wild animal attacks include: keeping vaccinations up to date, supervising pets outdoors and keeping them leashed, avoid feeding outdoor pets that attract wildlife and feral animals, securing garbage cans with wildlife-proof lids, and leaving juvenile animals alone, even if in need of help (instead call wildlife authorities).

Authorities suggest anyone who is bitten should:

  • 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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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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