Incident marks fourth confirmed case for 2011



BURLINGTON – The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health in Raleigh has confirmed Alamance County’s fourth rabies case for the year in a fox.

On Sunday, a resident of Coachlight Trail in Burlington was out walking his dog at about approximately 8:30 A.M., when a fox wandered down the street, came into the driveway, and attacked the family dog.  The dog’s owner kicked the fox and was bitten on the leg.

About a half hour before the incident on Coachlight Trail, less than a half mile away, a resident on Garden Road saw a fox attempting to attack her dogs.  After yelling at the fox, it proceeded to chase her.  Before she could escape into her residence, the fox bit her on the leg and ran away.

Burlington Police and animal control officers responded to the area.  After searching the area, the fox was located and killed.  The health department and animal control were notified on Tuesday that the fox tested positive for rabies.

Both victims were treated at Alamance Regional Medical Center and are undergoing post-exposure treatment.  The dog that was attacked was current on its rabies vaccinations and has received a booster shot.

Although this attack was certainly frightening for those involved, this incident should not deter the public from venturing outside.  However, since outdoor temperatures are getting warmer, there is an increased likelihood of encountering wild and possibly rabid animals.  Therefore, everyone should be aware of their surroundings while working or playing outside.  Pet owners should also make sure that their dogs and cats are current on their rabies vaccinations.

Additionally, residents in this area that have outside pets should closely examine them for wounds that they might have received from this fox and notify animal control or the health department’s Environmental Health office at (336) 570-6367, if they have questions or concerns.

If you are bitten or scratched by any animal:

• Wash the wound with soap and running water for ten (10) minutes and seek medical attention immediately. • Write down the location of the animal and a description of the animal to provide to animal control.  If the animal is someone’s pet, also get the owner’s name and address.  Give this information to animal control or the health department. • Do not try to catch any wild animal