May 26, 2004
HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO ADVISE NEIGHBORS
OF RABID FOX, PREVENTION MEASURES
Charlotte, NC -The Mecklenburg County Health Department's Communicable Disease Control staff is distributing flyers in the 16000 block of Old Statesville Road today to alert neighbors there of a rabid fox that was found in the area. This is the 10th rabid animal confirmed in Mecklenburg County this year.
On Saturday, May 22, 2004, a fox bit a man who was walking in North Mecklenburg Park. The animal then ran into the woods. What's believed to be the same animal then traveled to a nearby resident's property where it bit a dog. The dog's owner killed the fox, which was then shipped to the State Laboratory for Public Health to be tested for rabies. The Health Department has recommended that the man bitten by the fox receive post-exposure rabies vaccinations.
The Health Department reminds pet owners of the importance of having pets vaccinated to protect them from rabies, and to prevent them from potentially transmitting the virus to people. Al Piercy, epidemiology specialist for the Health Department's communicable disease control program says he expects to see even more cases this year as the season continues and that people should take precautions to minimize their exposure, such as:
- Make sure your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Keep your distance from wild animals and report them to Animal Control.
- Don't attract wildlife by leaving pet food outdoors or open garbage cans.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease affecting the central nervous system. Rabies can be prevented but not cured. A healthy animal or human can get rabies when bitten, licked or scratched by a sick animal.
North Carolina law requires animal bites to be reported by the person bitten, the owner of the biting animal, if applicable, and the physician who first treats the bite victim. For more information about rabies, or to report an animal bite, call the Mecklenburg County Health Department can be reached at 704-336-6440.
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Media Contact: D.C. Lucchesi at 704-432-0344 or