By Luke Andrews Senior Health Reporter For Dailymail.Com

Published: | Updated:

Locals in the capital of North Carolina have been put on alert for rabies after a little girl was bitten by a rabid fox while playing on her local street.

The youngster, 4, suffered from bites to her leg when the animal attacked her in a quiet suburb of Raleigh this Saturday.

Onlookers say the fox also tried to bite her foot but the girl was grabbed by her mother — who quickly rushed her to hospital.

Local health officials have warned residents of Wake County — which covers Raleigh and has a population of 500,000 people — to be on the lookout for rabid animals.

The girl is said to be recovering well and has received rabies-fighting antibodies and two injections of the rabies vaccine. The fox has been caught and euthanized.

This map shows the location of the rabies attack and the county currently under a rabies alert

The girl was attacked on this drive in a quiet suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina

The above image shows the scene where the attack took place, with chalk markings on the ground. The fox emerged from nearby bushes

She is believed to be at least the second child to be attacked by a rabid animal this year, after a young girl was also bitten by a rabid fox in upstate New York.

One to three people are diagnosed with rabies in the US every year, which is transmitted via the bites or scratches of infected animals.

Cases are serious because the virus can infect the spinal cord, causing neurological symptoms including confusion, agitation and foaming at the mouth.

Nearly every single person infected with rabies dies from the infection.

But infections after bites from rabid animals can be prevented if someone receives a shot of the rabies vaccine and a shot of antibodies to fight the virus on the same day of the bite.

The patient will also need to receive shots of the vaccine on days three, seven and 14 after the bite.

Local reports say the girl was attacked by the rabid fox at Spiedie Court, a quiet area of the town’s suburbs.

Raleigh Animal Control was also called to the scene where they caught the rabid fox and then euthanized the animal before sending it to a lab for testing.

Results are expected within the next few days.

The area behind the homes was initially thickly wooded, locals said, but construction work there at present is disturbing local wildlife.

It comes aftera young girl from upstate New York, also four, was bitten by a rabid fox in early January.

The girl was attacked just before noon at a home on Hillside Drive, and was quickly rushed to hospital for treatment.

The fox then went on to attack a domestic dog in the area before it was caught by officials and euthanized.

The girl was rushed to hospital for rabies treatment.

Warning signs an animal is infected with rabies include erratic behavior and foaming at the mouth.

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