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Fox attack a reminder of rabies dangers

Posted March 30, 2015

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— The number of rabies cases in North Carolina has dropped significantly in the last few years. There were 352 cases statewide in 2014, compared with 582 in 2004.

But there is no place for complacency. A recent attack on a Cumberland County child serves as the reminder that rabies is still a very real danger.

Eight-year-old Jaden Loazcano was on the playground behind E.E. Miller Elementary School when a fox came through a fence, crossed a grassy field and bit him on the forearm

"He was, like, on my body, and his teeth were this way," Jaden described, pointing out puncture marks on his arm.

"I grabbed him by the neck, and I threw him, and he came back after me and bit me," he said.

Deirdra Leggett, a counselor at the after-school program, came to the rescue. She pulled the fox off Jaden and got the other children to safety, but not before the animal also scratched her.

Like Jaden, she will have a series of painful shots.

"I guess I came in contact with his tooth," she said.

"Even though it didn't break skin, just as a precaution, they decided I had to go through the series too."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people exposed to a rabid animal get four doses of rabies vaccine over the course of two weeks along with a shot called Rabies Immune Globulin. Even those with a current vaccine are advised to get two booster doses after exposure.

With the advent of warmer weather, the Cumberland County Animal Control Department has planned a series of rabies clinics. Pet owners can get their cats and dogs protected for $10.

"It's a very cheap amount of money to spend to protect your family from possible exposure," said Dr. John Lauby, director of the department.

Lauby said animals that don't have up-to-date rabies vaccinations that come in contact with rabid animals face costly treatment.

"The cost of six-month quarantine at a veterinary clinic is terribly expensive, and most people can't afford that. So, if they're exposed and they're not vaccinated, they're going to be put to sleep," he said.

Rabies clinics scheduled in Cumberland County

Clinics begin Tuesday and are held bi-weekly as follows:

March 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Stedman Elementary School, 7370 Clinton Road, N.C. Highway 24 in Stedman, and Martin Edwards Auction Services, 10335 Ramsey St., in Linden

April 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Loyd E. Auman Elementary School, 6882 Raeford Road in Fayetteville, and Rockfish Elementary School, 5763 Rockfish Road in Hope Mills

April 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Massey Hill Classical School, 1062 Southern Ave., and Melvin Honeycutt School, 4665 Lakewood Drive, both in Fayetteville

April 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. at E.E. Miller Elementary School, 1361 Rim Road in Fayetteville and Spring Lake Middle School, 612 Spring Ave. in Spring Lake

April 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Warrenwood Elementary School, 4618 Rosehill Road, and Alderman Road Elementary, 2860 Alderman Road, both in Fayetteville.

April 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Benjamin J. Martin Elementary School, 430 Reilly Road, and Clear Path (formally Monsanto) parking lot, 3468 Cedar Creek Road, both in Fayetteville

April 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Eastover-Central Elementary School, 5174 Dunn Road in Eastover, and Northwood Temple Church, 4250 Ramsey St. in Fayetteville

April 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at District 7 Elementary School, 5721 Smithfield Road in Wade, and Mazarick Park, 1612 Belvedere Ave. in Fayetteville

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