4-Year-Old Boy Attacked by Rabid Fox in Guilford County

JAMESTOWN, N.C. -- Late Tuesday morning, the Guilford County Animal Control confirmed its second case of rabies from a fox.

Scott Greene, the director of environmental health, said a fox bit a child on Kearns St. in Jamestown Saturday.

This is the second of five confirmed fox-caused rabies cases in the county this year.

Animal control said the animal tested positive for rabies, and the child is being treated.

The Guilford County Animal Control and Randolph County Animal Control said they have been receiving calls every week from people who report seeing foxes around their homes.

Greene said the majority of the calls are regarding foxes who are behaving "normally." However, he said one of the county's four rabies cases so far this year has been from a fox. A second recent incident in which a fox bit someone was unable to be confirmed as rabies, because the fox was unable to be caught and tested. But, Greene said the victim was treated.

Sunday, the Guilford County Animal Control said it received a call from a woman who reported that a fox had pursued her while she walked her dog. Greene said the woman was able to get away unharmed, but in cases like this, he advised people to carry walking sticks.

Greene said in the summertime, fox sightings typically increase. Foxes become more active in warm weather, and humans naturally spend more time outdoors during this season.

Greene said it is important for people to recognize the signs of a fox behaving abnormally. He said by nature, foxes do not show signs of aggression toward humans. If they do become aggressive or are stumbling or foaming at the mouth, people must run to safety and call animal control immediately.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission also recommends people feed pets indoors or remove food bowls when a pet is finished eating outside. The Commission also recommends securing garbage in containers, closing off crawl spaces, securing pets, installing fox-proof fencing and clearing fallen fruit. It also recommends yelling or creating loud noises to scare foxes from the yard, so as to maintain the animals' wariness of humans.

Greene said the number one defense against fox dangers, like rabies, is to keep pets up-to-date with their vaccinations. He said if an animal is bitten and contracts rabies, it has to be confined at a veterinarian clinic for a minimum of six months (at the owner's expense). Or, he said the pet has to be euthanized.

Most Triad counties--including Guilford County, Forsyth County, Randolph County, Wilkes County and Montgomery County--do not have trapping season. Check the NC Wildlife Resources Commission for each county's rules.

In Hope Mills, N.C., a fox that attacked a child in Sunday also has tested positive for rabies, WRAL is reporting.

Guilford County Animal Control is offering rabies vaccination clinics at the following locations and times. Vaccines are $5 per shot.

Saturday, August 23, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Fire District #28, 6619 NC 61 North, Gibsonville, NC 27249

Saturday,September 27, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Pleasant Garden Town Hall, 4920 Alliance Church Road, Pleasant Garden, NC 27313

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Jamestown Town Hall, 301 East Main Street, Jamestown, NC 27282


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