Rabid Fox

Leon County Animal Control officers are continuing their efforts to trap rabid foxes, this after two residents of FSU's Alumni Village were treated for rabies after being bitten by gray foxes.

Animal Control officials say it is not unusual to see wildlife in Tallahassee. However, they warn people to use caution when the animal is aggressive and approaches you.

Richard Ziegler, the director of Leon County Animal Control, wants to remind people to make sure their pets have been vaccinated for rabies. He says through biting, scratching or mucus transfer your pet and potentially you could get infected with the deadly disease.

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What is Rabies?

  • Rabies virus causes an acute encephalitis in all warm-blooded animals.

  • All mammals are susceptible to the rabies virus.

  • The animals most known for carrying the virus include: raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes.

Transmission of Rabies

  • Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when the infected saliva of a host is passed to an uninfected animal.

  • Various routes of transmission include the eyes, nose, mouth, aerosol transmission, and corneal transplantations.

Symptoms of Rabies

  • First symptoms of rabies in humans may include flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, or malaise.

  • Other symptoms may include cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, and insomnia.

  • The acute period of the disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days.

  • Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal.

  • There is only six documented cases of human survival from clinical rabies.

  • Disease prevention can be done following a bite from an infected animal, being injected with a vaccine (postexposure prophylaxis).
    • Every year an estimated 18,000 people receive preexposure prophylaxis.
    • Every year an estimated 40,000 people receive postexposure prophylaxis.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention contributed to this report


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