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Pregnant woman bitten by rabid fox; Rowan cases up to 18 for year

By Shavonne Potts
spotts@salisburypost.com
A pregnant woman is taking shots after being bitten by a rabid fox Saturday in China Grove.
Vanessa Truong, of Harrisburg, was in the backyard of the photographer she and her husband, Hai, hired to take maternity pictures when the fox attacked.
The fox bit Vanessa, who is nine months pregnant, before she had time to react.
Rowan County Animal Control reports the incident as the 18th rabies case of the year.
“The fox came up beside me. My husband saw it,” she said.
Her husband thought the animal was a dog and asked the photographer if it belonged to her. The fox had already bitten the top of Vanessa’s foot.
Vanessa had two teeth marks and a gash.
The Truongs believe Hai was scratched when he tried to defend Vanessa from the fox, but he was not bitten. His wound was not as significant.
“I was in such shock. He’d already bit into me,” Vanessa said.
Hai repeatedly kicked the fox, it backed up and then attacked Vanessa again.
Then the fox, seemingly injured, ran off.
The husband and wife have to receive a round of post-exposure rabies shots. They have already been given several at the wound sites.
They will also have to receive a shot in the arm and two in the hip.
In total, they have to receive four more shots, Vanessa said.
The photographer’s husband later shot the fox. It was submitted for testing on Tuesday and returned with positive results the following day.
“It’s scary, and being pregnant that makes it twice as scary,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa has been talking with her doctor about any negative effects the vaccines may have on the baby. There is no indication that the vaccine will harm her baby, she said.
The whole ordeal has made Vanessa wary.
“I’m definitely more cautious about going outside,” she said. So is her husband.
She hopes others will be just as cautious and look before going out into the yard.
On Sept. 30, Tom Huffman found a dead skunk in his dog lot with his five dogs.
The dogs, all Chihuahua mixes, were not current on their rabies vaccinations and were held in quarantine at the Rowan County Animal Shelter.
Test results for the skunk returned Oct. 1 were positive for rabies.
This is the 17th case of rabies reported for the year.
All dogs were euthanized at the owner’s request, according to Animal Control.
It costs more than $2,000 to quarantine a dog.
Huffman declined to comment.

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