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Fox suspected in two attacks in Brunswick County tests positive for rabies, officials say

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:25 PM EDT
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BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) - A fox suspected of injuring three people in two separate attacks in the southern part of Brunswick County has tested positive for rabies, officials say.

A news release from the county states that health officials were alerted of the positive test this week.

“The fox is suspected to be connected to two attacks Wednesday in the southern end of the county. The first attack involved two individuals in Ocean Ilse Beach. The second attack involved one individual in the Sunset Beach area. All three individuals sustained scratches and bites,” according to the release.

The fox was captured and euthanized following the second attack, which prompted the rabies test.

RELATED: WATCH: N.C. man throws rabid bobcat after it attacks wife in wild video.

“The individual from the second attack also reported that they encountered an emaciated raccoon that was unafraid of humans—two signs of potential rabies infection,” the release added.

Health Services and the Animal Protective Services division at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are working together to investigate the incidents.

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • 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 are bitten or scratched by any animal that could possibly have rabies:

  • 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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