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Rabid fox

Atmore woman bitten and treated

News Staff Report

Alabama Department of Public Health officials announced this week that an unidentified older Atmore woman was unloading her vehicle after returning from a recent grocery shopping trip when, seemingly from out of nowhere, she was attacked and bitten by a fox that officials later confirmed was rabid.
The fox was taken to the Alabama Department of Public Health Bureau of Clinical Laboratories where the rabies diagnosis was confirmed.
The resident has since received appropriate medical attention and post-exposure prophylaxis to ward off the effects of the viral disease that can be fatal to humans if it remains untreated.
Those bitten by a rabid animal must undergo a series of vaccinations to help their bodies learn to identify and fight the rabies virus. Rabies vaccinations are given as injections in the arm. If you haven’t previously had the rabies vaccines, you’ll receive four injections over 14 days. If you have had the rabies vaccine, you’ll have two injections over the first three days.
“Although rabies is primarily found in wild animals since widespread vaccination of domestic animals began over 70 years ago, it continues to be a public health threat,” said Dr. Dee W. Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian. “Although attacks such as this by rabid wildlife are rather uncommon, it highlights the risk rabies continues to pose and hopefully reminds people to be aware of the risks and continue to vaccinate their pets.”
It is very common for domestic animals and pets to have contact with a wild, rabid animal.
Alabama law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older be current with their rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other livestock if recommended by a veterinarian.
Vaccinating animals reduces the risk of rabies infection, should exposure occur. Thus, vaccinations protect animals, as well as their owners and caretakers.
Rabies prevention is multifaceted and involves people taking precautions with wildlife, making sure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are current, and always reporting an animal bite or other exposures to their medical provider and ADPH.
In addition to vaccination, area residents are advised to take the following precautions to avoid possible exposures to rabies:
*Do not allow pets to run loose. Confine them within a fenced-in area or with a leash.
*Do not leave uneaten pet food or scraps near your residence.
*Do not illegally feed or keep wildlife as pets.
*Do not go near wildlife or domestic animals that are acting in a strange or unusual manner.

  • Caution children not to go near any stray or wild animal, regardless of its behavior.
    For more information on rabies, visit alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/rabies.html.