Fox tests positive for rabies

Published 10:12 am Friday, May 13, 2011

The fox that bit two Green Creek residents on Sunday, May 8 tested positive for rabies, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Polk County Health Department. This is the first confirmed case of rabies in an animal in Polk County this year.
An officer with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office notified the Polk County Health Department nurse on Monday, May 9 that a fox had bitten a man and a woman on Chesnee Highway in the Green Creek area. The fox was captured and the head was sent to the N.C. State laboratory for rabies testing.
On Wednesday, May 11, Polk County animal control officers notified the health department nurse that the fox did test positive for rabies. The people that were bitten had already begun receiving treatment to prevent rabies.
The Polk County health director and Polk County animal control staff advises residents to be sure that their animals are under their direct control. Animals that are allowed to wander or run loose are at a greater risk of coming into contact with rabid animals.
If your pet is exposed to a rabid animal and its rabies vaccinations are not up to date, the pet will have to be euthanized or placed in a strict veterinarian-supervised quarantine for six months.
During the next six months, anyone living in the Chesnee Highway area of Green Creek should watch for animals with unusual behavior and be sure all pets have current rabies vaccinations, officials said.
N.C. state law requires that all cats and dogs have rabies vaccines at 4 months of age and a booster vaccine every three years.
Anyone who sees an animal displaying abnormal behaviors should call the Polk County Animal Control Department at 828-894-3001.
– submitted by Helen White, Polk County District Nurse

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