Monmouth Woman Bit By Rabid Fox
A Monmouth woman was bit by a rabid fox, while sitting on her porch and holding a baby.
The Portland Press Herald reports that the woman lives on Cobbossee Road, near the intersection with Fish Hatchery Road. She was taken to the hospital, treated, and released and will be taking medication to treat the disease.
The fox was taken to a state laboratory where it tested positive for rabies. Last summer, a grey fox was found to have the disease, after attacking a pair of men in that town. The animal was shot and killed. And a rabid raccoon was found in the summer of 2014, also in Monmouth. Folks in the area are urged to call police if they think they see a rabid animal.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It is almost always deadly. Animals with rabies usually act strange once the virus gets to their brain, but signs can vary, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Some animals can get mean, while others will seem shy and frightened. Rabid animals can stumble as if they're drunk, seem lame, or they can be very friendly. Because you can't tell just by looking at an animal whether it's infected, officials advise avoiding contact with them, especially bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons.
Rabies lives in the saliva, brain, and spinal cord, and so the disease is spread through being bitten or scratched by the animal. You can't get rabies by petting an infected animal or by touching their bodily fluids.
If you think you've been exposed to rabies, wash the affected area with soap and water and call your healthcare provider immediately, or go to the local emergency room. They can let you know whether you need treatment. Contact the local animal control officer or call a game warden. And notify your vet if you think your animals have been exposed, as well.