2nd rabies case this week confirmed in Polk County

Case marks 4th confirmed countywide this year

(Mount Rogers Health District)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – For the second time this week, a case of rabies has been confirmed in Polk County.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office officials said in a news release Wednesday that a man working on a boat at his home on Fussell Road in Polk City on Tuesday was attacked by a fox. The man fought the fox off after the initial bite but when the animal charged at him again, he killed it, according to the release.

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The man then called animal control officials and officers came to collect the fox carcass, which was sent to the state laboratory in Tampa for testing.

On Wednesday, the results of the test confirmed the fox was infected with rabies.

The man was notified and is now undergoing the proper treatment, officials said.

The case marks the second confirmed in Polk County this week and the fourth this year. It’s also the second involving a fox this year, according to sheriff’s office officials.

The case confirmed earlier this week involved a bat killed by two dogs and another case reported earlier this year involved a raccoon, according to the release.

According to health officials, an animal with rabies could infect other animals that do not have the rabies vaccine, including domestic pets. If a pet is bitten by a wild animal, it should be taken to a veterinarian immediately and the county animal services department should also be notified.

Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by a wild animal should seek medical attention immediately and report the injury to their local health department. Treatment started soon after exposure will help protect a person from a nervous system disease that can be fatal.

For more information on rabies in Florida, including tips to prevent rabies, click or tap here.