skip to content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

skip to content

Gray Fox Positive For Rabies--Bite Victim Needs Shots

By Public Health Communications

September 01, 2017

Delray Beach, FL- Florida Department of Health Laboratory confirmed today that a gray fox that bit two men in the vicinity of a job site on North Congress Ave, Delray Beach was positive for rabies.

The first victim went to Bethesda Hospital on Sunday August, 27 reporting they were bitten by a fox in the vicinity of 90 N. Congress Ave, Delray Beach and received initial treatment but gave no local address.  This man needs to report to the Department of Health in Palm Beach County, Epidemiology to receive follow-up rabies shots. The second victim was scratched and bitten August 28, and has begun their rabies shot series. 

Animal Care & Control was notified following victim two reporting they had encountered an aggressive fox that bit and scratched them.  Upon arrival the animal care officer was directed to the fox that appeared sick and aggressive. The officer was able to capture the fox and impound for testing.

Persons who may know the whereabouts of victim one should have him call the Health Department at 561-671-4184.  Signs with this information will also be placed in the area.  Animal Care and Control will be distributing signage warning of the possibility of more rabid animals in the area. 

 Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization.  Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.

The following advice is issued:

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
  • Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.
  • Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
  • Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas where they might come in contact with people and pets.

For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/rabies/index.html or contact the Florida Health Palm Beach County, 561-840-4500.

Animals exhibiting signs of sickness and aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Control at 561-233-1200.        

For Media Inquiries