Fannin County Environmental Health officials say a fox that attacked a Morganton woman Friday has tested positive for rabies.
Jennifer King, spokeswoman for the North Georgia Health District, said this makes at least the fifth reported incident involving rabies in the northwest corner of Georgia this year.
She ticked off four other reports, including a rabid raccoon in Whitfield County near Dalton, a rabid kitten in Cherokee County and two rabid dogs in Pickins County.
The fox in Fannin County bit the woman as she walked her dog Friday on Dennis Drive in Morganton, which is northeast of Blue Ridge, Ga.
"We want to urge people to have pets vaccinated against rabies, and avoid any animals you're not familiar with, even if they are not acting strangely." King said. "We can't rely on what we think of as typical behavior for rabies. Different animals react differently [to the fatal disease]," she said.
The woman who bitten by the fox has already received the first of a series of post rabies exposure shots that she will receive during a two-week period, according to a news statement by Environmental Health Specialist Shannon Bradburn.
"She was suddenly hit from behind by the fox, which bit her leg before running away," Bradburn said.
Later that same morning, the victim's mother was terrorized by an aggressive fox. The mother shot and killed the animal and then reported the incident to Animal Control.
Contact Pam Sohn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6346.