Kerr County confirms 2nd rabies case from fox in Kerrville

Authorities asking people to avoid wild, stray animals, and keep pets up to date on vaccines

Foxes may be possible vectors of the rabies virus, transmitting it to humans and other animals. Image courtesy CDC/Arthur E. Kaye. (Smith Collection/Gado, Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

A rabies-infected fox had contact with someone in Kerrville last week, making it the second rabies case this year in Kerr County.

County officials are encouraging people and pet owners to take preventive steps to avoid rabies by staying away from wild or stray animals and making sure vaccinations are up to date.

The latest case involved a fox making contact with someone on Main Street in Kerrville on Feb. 8. Animal Care Services was alerted about the incident, and they picked up the fox.

The fox was tested for rabies, and the results came back positive on Friday. That person was not bitten by the animal, but they were advised to seek medical help, officials said.

If someone becomes infected with rabies and doesn’t seek medical help, the effects could be fatal, authorities said.

“Rabies is a fatal, but preventable, viral and neurological disease that can spread to humans and their pets if they are bitten or scratched by an infected mammal,” ACS Director Reagan Givens explained. “In our country, rabies is mostly found in animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes but it can also spread to people from cows, dogs and others.”

Anyone who has had contact with an animal suspected of rabies should seek medical help, Givens said.

He added that pet owners should make sure their pets are current on their rabies vaccinations, and people should not contact or feed wild or stray animals.

If a dog or cat has been exposed to an infected animal, Texas law states they must be euthanized. But Givens said if pet owners are unwilling to euthanize their pets, there are other options.

If a vaccinated pet is exposed to rabies, it must be revaccinated and isolated for at least 45 days. If the pet is not vaccinated, it should be vaccinated and placed in strict isolation for 90 days.

Anyone who suspects an animal of rabies should contact the Kerr County Animal Services at 830-257-3100 or, if after hours, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office at 830-896-1216.

According to the state health department, Kerr County is one of eight Texas counties that have reported at least one rabies case this year.

In Central Texas, Burnet County has also reported a rabies case, from a raccoon.

Confirmed rabies cases in Texas so far this year. (DSHS)

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.