Gwinnett woman attacked by fox on porch, officials fear rabies

Seventh rabies case confirmed after woman bitten by rabid fox in Lawrenceville. AJC File

Seventh rabies case confirmed after woman bitten by rabid fox in Lawrenceville. AJC File

A woman was sitting on her back porch when a fox attacked her, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Sue Kelley was relaxing at her Buford home Sunday afternoon when the fox bit her in the leg. The animal lunged for her when she got up from a seat.

“I was screaming. I was trying to get him off my leg. It was crazy there for about a minute," Kelley told Channel 2.

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Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement has posted warnings about the animal in the Huntington Hill Trace subdivision in Buford and believe it could have rabies, Channel 2 reported. The fox got away, so it has not been tested for rabies, but unprovoked aggression can be a sign of rabies in animals.

Kelley is getting rabies shots in case the animal is, in fact, rabid. She has already had seven shots of the required 10 to protect her against the disease.

Pet owners are encouraged to keep their pets vaccinated against rabies. If an unvaccinated animal is exposed to the disease, it must be euthanized immediately or quarantined for six months and vaccinated a month before being released.

Humans can be infected with rabies from a bite or scratch from a rabid animal. If someone is scratched or bitten by a stray or unfamiliar animal, the wound should be immediately cleaned and medical attention should be sought.

Anyone who suspects they may have found or been hurt by a rabid animal should call the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Bite Office at 770-339-3200 ext. 5576, or the after-hours non-emergency dispatch at 770-513-5700.

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There is some confusion over whether the rabid animal is a fox or raccoon.