Rabid foxes create concerns in Archdale

ARCHDALE – Randolph County officials put out a notice about three rabid foxes in Archdale late last week as a precaution, county health director Tara Aker said.

“We don’t know if there’s any relationship with these three cases,” Aker said. “Do we have a group of foxes and they have the same den?”

The foxes have been killed after biting people last month in Archdale, according to information from Randolph County Public Health.

The people bitten have been treated. The cases stemmed from incidents on Fernwood Drive, Kreamer Drive and West White Drive.

Aker said the bites happened within a 4-mile stretch, with two of those close to each other. They occurred within a 30-day window.

“We wanted people to be aware of that,” Aker said. “We just want people to pay attention.”

Usually, the health department doesn’t issue a press release if there are random cases. These incidents might signal a larger problem.

“Only time is going to tell with that,” Aker said.

If residents see a fox, they shouldn’t be overly concerned unless the animal is acting strangely or lingering in a residential setting, Aker said. Foxes are more likely to attack if they’re rapid.

To heighten awareness, Randolph County Animal Services has distributed informational flyers in the area where the fox bites took place.

With three rabid foxes, that’s more than the last two years combined in Randolph County. Aker said for the last reporting year, the only rabies case involved a skunk. The year prior to that, there were five cases – three skunks and two foxes.

In Randolph County, the most common rabies case in recent years involved foxes, skunks and raccoons, she said.

There are ways to reduce the chances of rabid animals coming too close to people. One way is for residents to feed their pets indoors when possible, according to health department information.

Randolph County officials request that citizens report all stray animals to the animal services department.

By Bob Sutton