Fannin County Environmental Health officials have confirmed that a rabid fox bit a Morganton resident. The incident took place yesterday morning (July 3rd) at a home on Dry Branch road.
The resident was tending chickens when the fox attacked the resident in the arm and the leg. The resident's spouse then shot the fox and took it to the environmental health office. Officials then prepared the animal for rabies testing. The results came back that day and confirmed the fox did, indeed, have rabies.
The resident will soon begin receiving treatment for rabies exposure, which includes several shots over the coming weeks. Every year, it is estimated that 40,000 persons receive a rabies treatment, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), due to exposure to rabies.
Rabies is not uncommon in Fannin County. In 2008 there were at least 23 confirmed cases of rabies. In 2004 there were 6,836 cases of rabies in nonhuman animals and 8 cases in human beings reported to the to the CDC nationwide. The majority of cases involve raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats.