October 15, 2004
Charlotte, NC - A red fox that was killed after biting a child on Wednesday, October 13, has tested positive for rabies, according to the N.C. State Laboratory in Raleigh. The incident occurred in Mint Hill on Lochinvar Drive, off Brief Road.
The child was immediately treated for rabies exposure. Flyers to alert neighbors were being distributed on Friday, October 15, to ensure that people know what to do if they suspect any exposure to this red fox. So far in 2004, the Mecklenburg County Health Department has responded to six wild animal bites, three of which tested positive for rabies.
"We're reminding people in the immediate neighborhood who has an animal, that if they suspect their pet came into contact with this fox - call us immediately," said Al Piercy, Program Chief with Environmental Health.
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that can infect all mammals, including humans. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva or nervous tissue of an infectious animal, usually through a bite. If an exposed person or animal is not treated quickly, the virus may infect the person or animal and may result in death.
"This incident serves as a reminder to make sure your pet's immunizations are current and that if you see a wild animal acting erratically, to call animal control," said Piercy.
That's why it is important to prevent exposure to the rabies virus whenever possible.
The best way to avoid rabies is to stay away from animals that appear sick or act strange, and avoid contact with strange animals and wildlife. Since people's pets may be exposed to rabies when they come in contact with other animals, pets should be vaccinated against the disease. To help protect people against rabies, vaccination of dogs and cats is required by law in North Carolina.
For more information about rabies or to report potential exposure, call the Mecklenburg County Health Department at 704-336-6440.
Information is also available at