Durham woman encounters possibly rabid fox, counties 5th rabies case of 2016

Durham County reaches its fifth case of rabid animals in the area. (Source: WNCN)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A Durham woman said she encountered a possibly rabid fox just days after one attacked one of her neighbors.

Wanda Hutchins was not the person who was attacked, but said she saw a fox Sunday morning, which she suspects was rabid.

“I went toward him to run him away,” Hutchins said. “He came toward me growling and I said, ‘no. You’re going somewhere, bud.’ so, I swung the shovel at him and then he went in between the two houses.”

Hutchins said she hadn’t seen the fox anymore since her encounter.

“I knew he had to be rabid because they’ll run from you,” Hutchins said. “I’ve seen too many of them out here in the back. They don’t stand around for you to pet them. So, yea, he was sick. Had to be sick,” she said.

RELATED: Man encounters rabid fox outside Durham home

One of her neighbors was attacked Friday by a fox, which tested positive Saturday for rabies, according to the Durham County Department of Public Health. It happened around the 600 and 700 block of Pleasant Drive.

It’s the county’s fifth animal rabies case of the year.

According to an incident report, a man saw a rabid fox outside a Durham home Friday. He told investigators that the fox charged at him twice and that he kicked it away both times.

At one point he noticed a small, red mark on his leg and a break in his skin, the report said.

The man, who asked his name not be used, told CBS North Carolina that he used a trash can to capture the fox when it charged at him yet again.

Deputies arrived and found the fox having what appeared to be a seizure before it died about 20 seconds later.

According to the Durham County Department of Public Health:

  • Rabies is transmitted through saliva or brain and nervous system tissue of an infected animal.
  • To prevent exposure, experts say never approach, handle or feed wild and stray animals.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended and roaming free.
  • Notify animal services if you see an animal behaving abnormally or appears injured or in distress.
  • If you’re bitten, wash any wounds immediately, contact animal services and see a doctor in an urgent care or emergency room.
  • Vaccines are available after being exposed to rabies. Experts say they’re relatively painless and are given in the arm like a flu or tetanus shot.

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