Fox with rabies enters Texas home, attacks woman

Foxes may be possible vectors of the rabies virus, transmitting it to humans and other animals, 1994. Wild animals accounted for 93% of reported animal cases of rabies in the year 2000, with foxes comprising 6.1% of this figure. (Getty Images).

The community is being reminded to be alert and take precautionary measures with wildlife after a recent confirmed case of rabies where a fox entered a home in Travis County and attacked the homeowner.

Rabies is a disease that affects the brain in mammals. It's usually passed from animal to animal but it can be passed between animals and humans. Rabies is caused by a virus that is transmitted through saliva. Rabies is fatal if not treated before onset.

According to Austin Animal Services, Animal Protection Officers (APO) responded to a call on Pace Bend Road in Travis County after a resident was bitten on the foot by a fox who entered her home around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 3.

A family member of the victim killed the fox in order to stop the attack.

The fox was then submitted for rabies testing and tested positive for the rabies virus.

APOs are canvassing the area to determine if any other people or pets may have had contact with the fox, or if any other wildlife have been observed acting in an unusual manner, such as turning in circles, twitching or foaming at the mouth.

If someone is bitten by a wild animal, Animal Protection should be called immediately by dialing 3-1-1 or 512-974-5000. The victim should also contact a physician immediately.

Animal Services offers the following tips to protect pets and family from exposure to wild animals: 

  • Vaccinate your dogs and cats as well as livestock.
  • Restrain your pets. Do not allow them to roam freely in public.
  • Avoid contact with wild animals and unknown dogs and cats.
  • Do not touch sick or injured animals.
  • If your pet is bitten, scratched or in a fight with any animal, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-5000.

Any contact with these high-risk wild animals or any sign of sick or dead wildlife should also be reported to 3-1-1 or 512-974-5000. For more information on rabies prevention, click here.