Animal Services Unit Confronts 10th Rabies Case

Animal Services Unit Confronts 10th Rabies Case


Animal Services Unit (ASU) was notified by the NC State Lab on 5/30/12 that a fox submitted to them on 5/29/12 was positive for rabies.


Facts:             County Location:

                                    Myrtle Grove Rd, Wilmington, N.C. 28409


Sunday, May 27, 2012, Animal Services was called to pick up a fox that had attacked a person.  The victim was working in the yard and did not see the fox when it ran out and bit their wrist.  The victim shook the fox off and it was killed by a neighbor.  ASU picked up the animal for testing.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012, the fox was transported to the State Lab.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012, the State Lab notified ASU that the fox had tested positive for rabies.  The victim was notified of the positive results and ASU will canvass the area.


Animals that have a current rabies vaccination at the time of exposure should be re-boostered within five days (2009 Centers for Disease Control guidelines) of exposure.  Recommendation is to destroy exposed animals that are not current with their rabies vaccination.  There are three primary routes of transmission of the rabies virus, which is carried in the saliva of the infected animal: 1) the primary route of transmission is through a bite which breaks the skin of the victim, 2) salivary contact to an open, fresh wound, or, 3) salivary contact to the mucous membranes of a potential victim. 

Please maintain a current rabies vaccination for your pet; this is the primary defense against the spread of this fatal disease.


When dealing with primary rabies vectors (raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats) or unknown animals, such as wildlife, it is recommended that the animal be handled with protective gloves to prevent viral transmission.  Personal pets should not be handled without protection directly after being exposed to wildlife, due to the potential for carrying residual saliva from the infected animal.   You should stay away from any animal that you have not been cleared to hold or pet, including owned dogs or cats, and especially wildlife.  Feeding wildlife is ill advised.  Prevention is better than reaction after the fact of exposure. 


This is number 143 in overall cases.  This is the 10th positive case for 2012.


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Sheriff's Office: 3950 Juvenile Center Road • Castle Hayne, NC 28429 • Phone 910-798-4200 • Fax 910-798-4212
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