Health officials advocate for caution after fox tests positive for rabies in Carteret County

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CARTERET COUNTY, NC – After two fox bites, Carteret County Animal Control is encouraging the public to take precautions and avoid interacting with wildlife.

The first incident occurred on the morning of Friday, July 23. Officers responded to a call around Core Creek Road, off U.S. Highway 101 near Beaufort, after a fox bit a person. That fox tested positive for rabies. Another encounter of a fox biting a person occurred Friday evening in Morehead City near a residence on Country Club Road and Country Club Court. Animal Control was unable to locate and capture the second fox, so it is unknown if the fox is rabid.

“We encourage the public to be aware of their surroundings and the presence of wildlife when they are enjoying their time outdoors this summer,” said Nina Oliver, health director for Carteret County. “It is important for citizens to be mindful of the possibility of rabies in wildlife while also keeping in mind that not every wild animal they see will be cause for concern. Anyone who believes they have been bitten by or exposed to a sick wild animal should seek proper medical treatment and call the health department for advice.”

Below are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

• Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep the vaccinations current. North Carolina law requires that all owned dogs, cats, and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age.
• Do not feed pets outdoors. Pet food attracts wildlife.
• Do not feed wildlife, feral cats, or feral dogs.
• Leave young wildlife alone. If you find a juvenile animal that appears to need help, it is best to leave it alone and call a wildlife professional.

To report wildlife displaying abnormal behavior, contact Carteret County Animal Control at 252-728-8585 or by calling 911.

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