Fox attacks Green Creek residents Sunday, May 8

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Animal being tested for rabies

A fox suspected of having rabies attacked a Green Creek man and woman Sunday night. Polk County Animal Control officer Michael Herman said the attack occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 8 in the Chesnee Road area.

The two residents were walking down a driveway when a fox came out and started attacking them, Herman said.

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Herman and Deputy Matt Covil were dispatched and when they arrived the man had the fox by the neck. Both victims suffered bites on their hands and arms.

Officers put the fox down and Herman said he sent the head of the animal to the state veterinarian’s lab in Raleigh for testing.

The sheriff’s office should be notified sometime today (Wednesday, May 11) about whether the animal was rabid. The victims were sent to the hospital Sunday night to begin a series of rabies shots.

If the testing determines the fox was rabid it will be the first case of rabies in Polk County since last February. On Feb. 26, 2010, a fox charged and latched onto the clothes of two adults who were doing clean-up for the Town of Columbus in the Hampton Court area off Houston Road.

A rabid fox was also found in December 2009 in the Golden Road area.

Fox, coyote, skunks, opossums and raccoons are common carriers of the rabies disease and people should try to avoid contact with these animals. Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain and is fatal if not treated. Symptoms include malaise, headache and fever that progress into pain, violent movement and uncontrolled excitement, depression and hydrophobia.

If the Green Creek fox is found to have been rabid, Herman will conduct a rabies clinic in the Green Creek area for residents.