Rabies Alert: Rabid Fox Attacks Woman Unloading Groceries – Alabama Health Department Warns

Atmore, Alabama – The Alabama Department of Public Health issued a public warning following an incident where a rabid fox bit a woman in Atmore. The victim, an elderly resident, was attacked by the fox while unloading groceries from her vehicle, resulting in a bite that led to potential exposure to rabies. State Public Health veterinarian, Dr. Dee W. Jones, emphasized the dangers of rabies, a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated.

The fox responsible for the attack was captured and taken to the Alabama Department of Public Health Bureau of Clinical Laboratories, where tests confirmed that it was indeed infected with rabies. Despite the rarity of such incidents involving rabid wildlife, the case highlights the persistent threat of rabies and the importance of vaccination for pets and livestock. Dr. Jones stressed the significance of vaccinating animals as a preventive measure against the spread of rabies, protecting both animals and humans from potential infection.

Under Alabama state law, it is mandatory for dogs, cats, and ferrets aged 12 weeks and older to be up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations. In addition to pets, rabies vaccines are also available for horses and other livestock, with the recommendation of a veterinarian. Public health officials urged residents to take precautions, such as confining pets within fenced areas, avoiding contact with wildlife, and educating children about the risks associated with interacting with stray or wild animals.

Furthermore, the health department advised against leaving pet food outside, illegally keeping wildlife as pets, and approaching animals that exhibit unusual behavior. By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining proper vaccination protocols, individuals can reduce the risk of exposure to rabies. The incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing public health threat posed by rabies, emphasizing the importance of preventive measures and responsible pet ownership in safeguarding against potential dangers.

Overall, the community is encouraged to stay vigilant and proactive in protecting themselves and their animals from rabies, underscoring the significance of vaccination and adherence to safety precautions recommended by public health authorities. Vigilance and awareness are essential in preventing the spread of rabies and ensuring the well-being of both pets and residents in the area.