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UPDATE: Fox in Meadowlakes attack tests positive for rabies

Meadowlakes officials are asking residents to be cautious around wild animals after a person reported getting bitten by a fox (not the one pictured). iStock photo

Meadowlakes officials confirmed Monday, Jan. 4, that a fox that bit a woman the previous week tested positive for rabies.

The announcement came through the city’s email alert. 

The animal was captured by the city’s animal control officer and handed over to the Texas Department of State Health Services for rabies testing after the attack reported on Tuesday, Dec. 29. The resident was treated for the bite at a local emergency room.

This is the second fox attack within the city in less than three months. In October, the city’s animal control officer investigated an attack during which a dog and cat might have been bitten by a fox that later tested positive for rabies.

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal, typically through bites. It can also be transmitted if the saliva comes in contact with mucous membrane.

If you’ve been in contact with any wildlife or unfamiliar animals, particularly if you’ve been bitten or scratched, you should talk with a healthcare professional to determine your risk for contracting the disease. 

Wash wounds with soap and water immediately and then make plans to see a healthcare provider. 

See your doctor for any trauma from an animal attack before considering the need for a rabies vaccination. Your doctor, sometimes in consultation with your state health department, will help you decide if you require a post-rabies treatment known as post exposure prophylaxis (PEP). 

The decision to start the treatment is based on your type of exposure, the animal to which you were exposed, whether the animal is available for testing, and other considerations in regard to the area in which the exposure occurred. 

PEP consists of a regimen of one dose of immune globulin and four doses of a rabies vaccine over a 14-day period. The treatment should begin as soon as possible after exposure. Current vaccines are relatively painless and are given in the arm like the flu vaccine.

Meadowlakes is asking residents to be aware of their surroundings when outside, to always keep pets on a leash or in a fenced area, and to make sure pets are vaccinated against rabies. The state of Texas requires all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age. 

Residents who see an animal acting strangely should call the Meadowlakes animal control officer at 877-816-8136.

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