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Confirmed Rabies in Fox That Bit Two Residents

May 14, 2019

The State Public Health Lab in Raleigh today confirmed a case of rabies in a fox that bit two people on Monday, May 13, in the 1000 block of Christina Street, located off Cliffdale Road in Fayetteville.


Animal Control responded to a call on Monday, May 13, to investigate a wildlife bite. A growling fox approached three adults sitting on the front porch of a home on Christina Street. The fox bit a mother and son before another son removed the fox from the porch without being bitten. Animal Control officers who responded were able to locate and secure the fox. The fox died while being transported to Animal Control. The two victims sought treatment at the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center emergency room and are currently receiving post-rabies exposure treatment.


This is the first case of rabies in Cumberland County in 2019.


All pet owners are urged to check the vaccination status of their pets.  If pets are not vaccinated or are due for a booster shot, they should be taken to a local veterinarian for rabies vaccination immediately.


The first sign of rabies in animals is a change in behavior. Animals may become aggressive, attacking for no reason, or they may become very quiet. Wild animals can lose their fear of people and act tame. Rabid animals may walk in a circle, drag a leg, or fall over. Some cannot swallow so they are not able to eat or drink and often drool. Animals usually die within a week after first becoming ill.


Avoiding wild animals and keeping your distance from stray dogs and cats is the first step in preventing an animal bite. Any pet, which appears to have been in a fight while outside, should be handled very cautiously and seen by a veterinarian.


If you are bitten or scratched by an animal:

  • Immediately wash the wound under running water for at least 10 minutes with lots of soap.  Seek medical attention/advice.
  • Call Animal Control at 321-6852 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Call the Sheriff’s Office at 323-1500 after 5 p.m., weekends and holidays.
  • Go to the emergency room.



It is also important to vaccinate your pets for rabies and keep their shots current. Pet owners are reminded that all dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, as required by state law. Pet owners are subject to a fine of $100 for each unvaccinated dog or cat. Pets must be vaccinated when they reach the age of four months.


Animal Control is located at 4704 Corporation Dr., Fayetteville.