A rabid fox attacked two children in a Dacula neighborhood on Tuesday, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement said.
The fox has been captured and euthanized, but the department says residents should still be careful around wild animals in the area. The kids were attacked by the fox near Dolostone Way in the Austin Crossing area, the department said in a press release.
Foxes, raccoons and other animals are known to carry rabies and can spread them to people through a bite or scratch. Rabies can be fatal in humans if left untreated. Early symptoms can include fever, headache and “general weakness or discomfort,” the department said.
Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to rabies should immediately seek medical treatment. After being treated, those potentially exposed should call the Gwinnett County Health Department at 770-339-4260 and ask to speak to the epidemiologist on call.
Rabies can also be spread to house pets including cats and dogs if they have not been vaccinated. If an unvaccinated pet is exposed to rabies, they must be “strictly quarantined” for four months and vaccinated a month before being released from quarantine, according to guidance from the National Association of State Health Veterinarians.
Rabid animals may act normal, but they are also known to exhibit strange behavior, including being aggressive, moving in a stiff or unusual manner, avoiding food and water and foaming at the mouth. Leaving food or easily accessible garbage outside and near your home may attract rabid animals, the department said.
You can report a possibly rabid animal by calling Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement at 770-339-3200 or the dispatch non-emergency line, 770-513-5700.
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