Virginia toddler bit by rabid fox at daycare

Credit: WSLS

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – John Winfield says his 2-year-old granddaughter, Rosie, is doing well despite an encounter with a fox on her child care playground Thursday.

Rosie and other children were outside HoneyTree Early Learning Center in Roanoke Thursday morning when a fox got inside the playground fence. Winfield said, as teachers ushered children inside, Rosie looked to the fox.

“My granddaughter turned around and, ‘here kitty, kitty,’ went up to the Fox. She thought it was a cat, which immediately wrapped itself around her knees and just went to town,” Winfield explained.

The fox went after her, biting both her legs. Winfield says a teacher then went after the fox.

Winfield said, “One of the daycare workers pulled the fox off and kicked the smithereens out of it until animal control got there.”

The teacher held on to the fox, he said, knowing the significance of testing the fox for rabies.

Rosie received the first step in post-exposure prophylaxis and a vaccine as recommended by the Department of Health in cases of human exposure, to prevent the condition. The rabies test on the fox then came back positive, meaning Rosie will have to continue treatment and get three more doses of rabies vaccine.

“Mercifully it’s not like us old-timers remember when the shot had to be in the stomach, the stomach lining. It’s all done at the point of the injury or near there,” Winfield explained. “She’s doing great. She’s handling it as well as any 2-year-old or 2 1/2 year-old would feel about being injected with the rabies protocol.”

It’s still not easy for a toddler, but Winfield said he couldn’t ask for a better teacher for Rosie.

“When you look for a daycare you look for cleanliness and the health of the facilities, in care of the children, and you can check off, you know, willing to put their life on the line for your child. I have nothing but praise for HoneyTree and the people who work for them,” Winfield said.

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