Panhandle health officials urge caution after rabid fox attacks person

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County says an individual has been bitten by a rabid fox.

The Pensacola News Journal ( ) reports the recent attack happened in West Pensacola. Health officials collected tissue samples from the fox to confirm the presence of the rabies virus.

Officials are urging people to be cautious around wild animals. Health department director Dr. John J. Lanza warns residents not to feed or pet wild and stray animals.

Rabies is a viral disease that infects the central nervous system and can cause brain infection and death. Rabies shots can protect a bite victim from developing the infection.

Raccoon, foxes, bats and cats are the animals most frequently diagnosed with rabies in Florida.