Ten-year-old Summer Langston was able to get away from a rabid fox last week after it chased her near her home in Clover, but she'll soon have to get a series of shots to treat a two-inch bite on her leg.
Langston was playing in a nearby yard with a group of other girls when the fox ran out of the woods. First, it bit the rubber wheel of her doll's stroller, then came at her, she said. Her older sister April cleaned the wound, which had broken the skin enough for the animal's saliva to get inside.
“It sort of hurt, but not anymore,” Langston said about the fox bite, which her mother says looks more like a scratch than teeth marks or a gash.
The fox was later found dead and tested positive for rabies.
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Now York County Animal Control has advised children who play outside in the mobile home park on Kreps Road to carry sticks to protect themselves from foxes and other animals that may carry rabies.
“I would have thought it was rare, but this is the second or third fox around here,” said mother Carolyn Langston, who was in classes at York Technical College when her daughter was bitten.
“It's scary to think that all these kids on summer vacation, playing in other people's yards, might not know where to run if they see one,” she said.
This is the fifth confirmed rabid animal in York County in 2008.
Another resident in the Kreps Road community, Michael Sides, said he saw a rabid fox the week before Langston was bitten. It tried to attack his golf cart, but limped away to a nearby lake, where Sides and Hoffecker killed it, he said.
Sixteen rabid animals were found in York County last year, including foxes, raccoons, a cow, a bat and a skunk, according to DHEC.