Rabid fox attacked person and pets in Autauga County, tests show

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The Alabama Department of Public Health is warning Alabamians of rabies after a fox allegedly attacked a person.

The incident happened Monday near Wood Valley Ridge off US 31 North between Prattville and the Interstate 65 interchange. The victim’s pets were also attacked.

The ADPH has since confirmed the result with tests and informed those exposed. The animals received a booster vaccination against rabies. Further testing is underway to determine the strain of rabies.

This is the first confirmed case of rabies in Autauga County this year. Last year, two cats were confirmed positive in Prattville.

State public health veterinarian Dr. Dee W Jones said it should be the raccoon strain, which is the primary reservoir of rabies in terrestrial animals in Alabama. He says cases of wildlife attacking people are not common, but it happens due to the altered mental states the virus causes in animals.

Jones said that while it’s rare for a human to have direct contact, it’s very common for domestic animals and pets to have contact with a rabid wild animal. Alabama state law requires dogs, cats, and ferrets 12 weeks of age and older to be current on their rabies vaccinations. Rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other farm animals if recommended by a veterinarian.

Area residents are advised not to allow pets to run loose and to refrain from leaving uneaten pet food or leftovers near residences. Also, do not illegally feed or keep wild animals as pets, or approach wild or domestic animals that act in strange or unusual ways. Children should avoid any stray or wild animals, regardless of their behavior.

The Autauga County Rabies Officer will be arranging discounted vaccinations April 30 and May 7 at various locations throughout Autauga County. The rabies vaccination fee is $12 per animal.

For more information, call (334) 365-7543 or contact ADPH at (334) 206-5969 or through the website.

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