Woman bitten on foot by rabid skunk

CorrespondentAugust 25, 2012 

— Patricia Patterson said her adult daughter’s screams are still ringing in her ears after a morning run-in with a rabid skunk that left the woman with a bitten foot and two weeks of rabies prevention treatments.

“Right now, I’m still in shock,” Patterson, 64, an Orange County resident, said Friday.

She found the strangely behaving skunk early Wednesday at her home off Turkey Farm Road and called 911. The animal then bit her daughter, Heather Meadows, 38, while the pair waited for Animal Control personnel to arrive.

The skunk was confirmed rabid Thursday, making it Orange County’s ninth rabies case this year, according to an Orange County Animal Services news release.

“That area should really be alert,” Patterson said. “We live directly beside Duke Forest, and there is a tremendous amount of foot traffic.”

Rabid animals don’t usually concentrate in one area, and residents in the nearby area shouldn’t be too alarmed, said Andi Morgan, communications specialist for Orange County Animal Services. Orange County may see slightly more cases this year than the 11 confirmed last year, but it isn’t experiencing a large uptick in rabies, she said.

Irene Phipps, Animal Control manager, said when people find themselves waiting near possibly rabid animals, they should use caution.

“We would recommend that they go to the location where they feel most secure, whether that is their house or their car,” she said.

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