Rabid Fox Bites Alabama Woman While Unloading Groceries

Rabid Fox Bites Alabama Woman While Unloading Groceries | Healthcare 360 Magazine


Alabama public health officials are urging residents to ensure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date after a rabid fox bites attack in Atmore resulted in a woman being bitten while she was unloading her groceries. The fox later tested positive for rabies.

The Unexpected Attack

The incident occurred as the woman was returning from grocery shopping. While unloading her vehicle and holding a loaf of bread, she was suddenly attacked by the fox, seemingly out of nowhere. The rabid fox bites was subsequently captured and tested at a Health Department laboratory, where it was confirmed to be rabid.

Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated. Fortunately, the woman received prompt medical attention and post-exposure prophylaxis, which is crucial in preventing the disease from progressing. The Alabama Department of Public Health emphasized the importance of vaccination and awareness in preventing such incidents.

Rabies in Wild Animals

“Although rabies is primarily found in wild animals since the widespread vaccination of domestic animals began over 70 years ago, it continues to be a public health threat,” stated Dr. Dee Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian. He added, “Although attacks such as this by rabid fox bites wildlife are rather uncommon, it highlights the risk rabies continues to pose and hopefully reminds people to be aware of the risks and continue to vaccinate their pets.”

While it is rare for people to be bitten by rabid fox bites, such incidents do occur. Notable cases were reported in 2018 in Baldwin County, where residents observed foxes displaying erratic behavior. That year, Alabama reported 13 rabies cases in foxes, with five confirmations in Baldwin County alone.

So far this year, Alabama has recorded 13 positive rabies tests, with five cases involving foxes and another five involving raccoons. In the previous year, 38 animals tested positive for rabies in the state, including 20 raccoons and two foxes. The year 2015 saw the highest number of rabies confirmations in the past decade, with 83 reported cases, including 53 raccoons, 13 bats, and eight foxes.

Legal Requirements and Recommendations for rabid fox bites

Alabama state law mandates that dogs, cats, and ferrets aged 12 weeks and older must be current with their rabies vaccinations. Additionally, rabies vaccines are available for horses and other livestock as recommended by veterinarians.

This recent rabid fox bites attack serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat of rabies and the importance of maintaining up-to-date vaccinations for pets. Public health officials continue to advocate for awareness and proactive measures to protect both humans and animals from this dangerous disease.

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