Orange has 12th rabies case for year
Orange County Animal Services has received its 12th positive rabies test result of the year involving a fox, according to the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health. That ties the total number of 2012 and 2013 rabies cases in the county.
The most recent case happened in Hillsborough. On Wednesday, a resident was attacked on his property by a fox. The fox grabbed the man’s pant leg. The animal was killed during the attack, and never broke the skin of the victim. Animal Control was called to remove the fox for testing.
The fox is believed to be the same fox that bit a resident on Tuesday. The fox fled the scene after attacking and biting that person. That had visited the emergency room and started post-exposure prophylaxis treatment by the time the fox was killed. The more recent victim did not have any breaks in the skin, but will be assessed by a nurse for any possible risk of secondary rabies exposure.
This is the first positive result of 2014 involving a fox. Foxes are not the dominant host species of rabies and contract it from a host species, most often raccoons. The other species that are most susceptible to getting rabies from raccoons are dogs, cats, groundhogs and skunks.
The other host species of rabies in our own region and others is bats. Of the few cases of rabies in humans in the U.S. in recent years, most have been traced to bats.