Woman being treated for rabies after attack by fox

By: By Mike Gellatly - [email protected]

LUMBERTON — A Robeson County woman is undergoing treatment for rabies exposure after a fox bit her after entering her home on Russ Road just outside Lumberton, according to the Robeson County Health Department.

The woman, whose name is being withheld, and her dog were attacked at their Russ Road home on June 28, according to Bill Smith, director of the Health Department.

North Carolina Wildlife Commission agents captured the animal and it tested positive for rabies on Friday of last week at State Public Health Lab in Raleigh.

The dog was current on its rabies vaccinations but was given a booster shot.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, the rabies treatment procedure for human consists of four doses of rabies vaccine, one given on the day of exposure and then three more spaced out during the next two weeks. Along with the vaccine, patients are treated with specific antibodies to fight the virus on the first day.

Smith said this is the first rabid animal discovered in Robeson County within the last two months.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals, particularly mammals. In North Carolina, the most common type is raccoon-variant rabies. It is found commonly in raccoons, skunks, red and grey foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers. Bats can also transmit rabies but have their own bat variant rabies virus. Any mammal can become infected with rabies. The virus can infect domestic pets, agricultural animals such as cows and horses, and people when they are exposed to rabid wildlife.

Rabies is considered to always be fatal.

By Mike Gellatly

[email protected]

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly