COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A state lab confirmed a fox found on June 23 in Autumn Leaf Court tested positive for rabies.
The Columbus Department of Public Health says if you or anyone you know may have come in contact with that fox, please contact the department and your physician. Columbus Health Department Public Relations Coordinator Pamala Kirkland wants those in the neighborhood to be aware.
“That specific fox that attacked someone in the neighborhood has been taken. We don’t have to worry about that specific fox but if someone came in contact with the fox or they notice any other wildlife in their area that is acting strangely then they need to call animal control or the health department,” Kirkland said.
According to the CDC the rabies virus is transmitted through direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal.
Here is a list of tips to keep you safe from infected animals:
- Do not pick up or handle any stray or wild animals
- Report any animal bites and/or scratches to Columbus Animal Control and the Columbus Environmental Health Office
- Contact Columbus Animal Control to report any animals that are behaving strangely or aggressively
- If your pet/livestock is behaving strangely or is injured contact your local veterinarian immediately
- Teach children about the dangers of stray and wild animals
- Have all of your pets vaccinated against rabies
If you are bitten or scratched by any animal, do the following:
- Wash and rinse the wound thoroughly for several minutes
- Apply a disinfectant,
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Report the bite to Columbus Animal Control or the Columbus Environmental Health Office.
According to the CDC, the first symptoms of the rabies virus, that appear during the incubation period of the disease, may mirror those of the flu. Symptoms include including general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. These symptoms could last for several days, according to the CDC. Additionally officials say the incubation period of the the disease could last from several weeks to several months.
According to the CDC, there may be also discomfort or a prickling or itching sensation at the site of the bite, progressing within days to acute symptoms of cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation. As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia. The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days
The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days.
According to the CDC, once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.