Digging Deeper: Rabid Animals - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Digging Deeper: Rabid Animals

An Albany woman is undergoing medical treatment for rabies after being attacked by a fox last night on the Darton College campus.

Evette Mills told us the animal attacked her from behind and came at her two different times.  Players from a semi-pro football team came to her aid.  After hearing the circumstances, health officials say that animal likely is rabid.

Health officials say when Evette Mills was attacked here on the walking track at Darton College just after 9:00 it is a typical time for foxes to be out, but typically they don't approach people. Anytime someone is bitten they're notified.

"The Health Department actually investigates each and every bite whether it be pets or any other animal," said Dewayne Tanner Environmental Health Director for the Southwest Georgia Health District.

They're concerned about this case at Darton, because the accounts from players seem so aggressive.

"Rabies causes an animal to be aggressive. There is two types, aggressive and non aggressive, but the majority that we see is aggressive," said Tanner.

To be on the safe side they confirmed Mills will undergo treatment, but digging deeper we learned the treatment has changed over the years.

"It's a series of shots that are give over a 28 day period, its five series and we would begin those series most likely at the emergency room," said Tanner.

Because the fox wandered off from the scene of the attack there's no way to know if it was rabid.

"There's no way to know if it does show back up if it was the fox that bite her," said Tanner.

Which is why treatment is administered regardless.

"Rabies can be prevented by the shots but it is deadly if you don't take the exposure if you've been exposed," said Tanner.

Officials did check the campus to see if they could find the animal, and say it's days are numbered.

"Five to ten days once they are able to transfer it so, it's not likely that fox will be around that much longer," said Tanner.

While Darton College is warning everyone on their track to be wary of wild animals on their campus.

"We're actually looking at, our plant operations crew, we're actually looking at putting up some signs right now, just a warning to let them know," said Darton College Communications and Philanthropy Director Krista Robitz.

Health officials stress the need for all pets to be vaccinated for rabies.

Health officials say animals including opossum and armadillo do not carry rabies, but animals including raccoons, foxes, squirrels, and other livestock can carry the disease.

Health officials say if you find a dead animal in your yard, you should handle it with gloves or a shovel and bury it if you have concerns.

Call the health department if you have concerns.

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