Fox Tested Rabid in Black Mountain
Area Residents on Alert for Other Wild Animals Behaving Strangely
Buncombe County Department of Health officials have confirmed that a fox found dead in Black Mountain has tested positive for rabies. The dead fox was found in the area where a woman was bitten on Saturday. Rabies is easily transmitted among wild animals and unvaccinated pets, so the public has been alerted to watch for any wild animal that may be behaving strangely such as acting aggressively, stumbling or foaming at the mouth. If such an animal is seen in the Black Mountain area, residents are asked to take children and pets inside and call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office at 250-6670.
Rabies is not unusual among wildlife; however it’s important that steps be taken to prevent exposure to the disease among humans and pets. In North Carolina rabies is most common in raccoons, skunks, and foxes, but has also been found in dogs, cats, horses, cattle, bats and other animals. The Buncombe County Department of Health makes the following recommendations to prevent the spread of rabies:
Vaccinate your pets regularly according to North Carolina Law.
Keep children and pets away from wild and strange animals. Don’t try to feed, touch, or play with a wild animal.
Don’t allow pets to run at large.
Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids, and take them out in the morning of pick up, not the night before. Coyotes and other wildlife will scavenge trash.
Feed pets indoors or remove food when your pet is finished eating outside. Wild animals are attracted to pet food left outdoors.
Avoid contact with bats. If you find a bat during daylight hours, it is most likely unhealthy and should not be touched.
Keep bird-feeder areas clean, and use bird feeders that keep seed off the ground. Foxes are attracted to small animals congregating on the ground. If you frequently see foxes, remove all feeders.
Close off crawl spaces under sheds, porches, decks and homes. Some wildlife may use these spaces to rest or to build their dens.
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through the saliva of an infected animal. When contracted by humans, rabies is fatal unless early treatment is sought. There is no cure once symptoms develop, so immediate treatment is important to prevent the disease. If bitten by any animal, clean the wound thoroughly (for at least 10 minutes) and then contact your doctor or Buncombe County Department of Health at 250-5109.
For concerns about possible rabid animals within the City of Asheville residents should call the Asheville Police Department at 252-110. Residents in Buncombe County should call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office at 250-6670.