Local News

Rabid fox prompts advisory in Zebulon

Posted May 4, 2012 4:47 p.m. EDT
Updated May 4, 2012 4:50 p.m. EDT

— Wake County animal control want residents to know about a fox in Zebulon that tested positive for rabies Friday afternoon.

A mother and her two young daughters were at a T-ball game at Wakelon School Park on Thursday evening when they encountered the animal acting strangely.

It frightened the mother, who fell screaming. Other parents rushed to help and beat the fox with baseball bats.

Tests Friday confirmed the virus.

Animal control officers said the animal also came in contact with a dog.

The mother, who might have been scratched by the fox, and children are being treated for rabies exposure as a precaution. The dog, which had been vaccinated for the disease, was given a booster vaccine.

"We don't want to alarm residents in Zebulon, but they should be aware of these cases, and of the potential for exposure to themselves, family members and their pets," Sue Lynn Ledford, community health director for Wake County, said.

The reminder comes a day before the town's planned rabies vaccination clinic Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Wake County Eastern Regional Center, 1002 Dogwood Drive.

Rabies vaccines will be available for $5 on a first-come, first-serve basis for dogs, cats and ferrets whose owners have proof of current and prior rabies vaccinations.

Microchips will also be available for $10.

"Rabies vaccination is critical to help to prevent the spread of disease, and rabies vaccination is required by law," Ledford said. "This is a great opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of rabies vaccinations for their pets.”

Legally, animal control is required to euthanize any animal exposed to rabies. Pet owners, however, can agree to place their pets in a six-month quarantine.

Animal control officers urge residents to keep their pets vaccinated, to stay away from unknown animals, including strays and to contact animal control at 919-212-7387 if they see an animal behaving strangely.

Anyone who is exposed or has a pet exposed to an animal that might be rabid should seek medical help immediately.