A gray fox that attacked a Mahopac woman on Saturday and then chased her inside her home has tested positive for rabies, the Putnam County Department of Health told Daily Voice on Tuesday afternoon.
Barbara Ilardi, the spokeswoman for the department, said it received the results Tuesday morning: "As expected, the fox tested positive for rabies."
The woman began undergoing rabies treatments right after the attack due to the number of rabid animals found recently in that area, county health officials said.
The attack occurred around 5:45 p.m. Saturday when the woman was in the yard of her home on Agor Lane, said officials with the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
The woman was in the yard of her home when a gray fox emerged from nearby woods and attacked her, the sheriff's office said. The fox bit the woman on the left ankle and clawed her right ankle and foot, drawing blood, according to the sheriff's office.
The woman then ran inside her home in an effort to get away from the fox, but it pursued her into the house, which was occupied by the woman's children. The woman and the children then fled from the house and closed the door behind them, confining the fox inside, and called 911, the sheriff's office said.
The fox was captured inside the home by local animal trappers and later euthanized in order to perform the rabies test.
The health department warns residents to stay away from wild animals, but if attacked or bitten, they should:
- Immediately wash the wound with lots of soap and running water.
- Capture the animal, if possible, so it can be tested. Take care to prevent additional bites or damage to the animal’s head.
- Call the Putnam County Health Department as soon as possible at (845) 808-1390. If it is outside of normal business hours, call (845) 808-1390 ext. 3.
- Seek medical advice quickly.
- If necessary, a dead animal may be kept on ice, double bagged in plastic, until it can be tested. The Putnam County Health Department will arrange for testing. Always wear gloves, use a shovel and clean the area and tools with one part bleach to 10 parts water. Keep the dead animal in a protected area away from people and other animals.
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