LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - A little girl was attacked by a rabid fox while playing in her yard Wednesday evening in Valdosta.
This happened in a neighborhood in the northern part of Lowndes County, but officials say everyone across South Georgia needs to be aware of the dangers.
"If you are bitten seek medical attention immediately," said Lowndes County's Public Information Officer Paige Dukes.
Lowndes County officials send out a very important message Thursday night after a six-year-old girl was attacked in the Carlton Ridge Subdivision by a rabid fox Wednesday.
"Spring brings rabies. Unfortunately, we see an uptick in the number of confirmed rabies cases in Lowndes County during the spring," said Dukes.
The little girl was in her backyard when a fox jumped the fence and bit her on the arm.
"The child was actually in the backyard playing with her family. The fox did come out of nowhere. Thankfully her parents were there and they were able to respond very quickly," said Dukes.
Dukes said that its what you do after the encounter that matters most.
"It's very important to be treated. There are post-exposure vaccination that will absolutely protect you if you're bitten from a rabid animal," said Dukes.
But if you don't get treated, things can go from bad to worse quickly.
"Once the disease actually develops, you have nearly a zero chance of surviving as a human," said Dukes.
As for the little girl, she is doing much better.
"The child is in very good spirits, she is certainly a hero in our eyes, that she took steps to defend herself and again she's just a great positive of a very unfortunate thing," said Dukes.
Dukes said if you come into contact with a wild animal that might be infected, stay away, call 911 and let them handle it.