Two children attacked by rabid fox at Lexington bus stop

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Two children were attacked at a school bus stop in Lexington.

Now health officials are confirming the animal involved represents Davidson county’s fifth case of rabies this year.

The children were waiting for their school bus Friday morning when a fox suddenly ran out of the woods right up to the kids. It shredded one child’s backpack and bit through another’s shoe.

The incident happened right outside American Children’s Home.

A staff member immediately got the kids back into the building and called animal control.

“The staff reported that the fox was very aggressive and that was unusual for it to come out,” said Kathy Berrier, American Children’s Home president. "Thankfully our house parents are very vigilant and were able to get the children inside with no damage to the children. No bites or anything. The backpack didn’t fair quite as well, but they are safe.”

Lillian Koontz serves as Director of Public Health.

“The children were bitten through their shoes, but it did not break any skin,” Koontz said.

Berrier says this is the first time that the home has ever had an incident with a rabid animal that she’s heard of.

“Curiosity is not a good thing in these situations and to just be vigilant and wary of any wild animal,” Berrier said.

“It’s very unusual to see a fox during the day and especially unusual for a fox to encounter humans. They like to stay away,” Koontz said.

Leaders now plan to turn the frightening encounter into a topic during staff training in the future.

“All of our folks are safe thankfully,” Berrier said.

The health department tells FOX8 the fox ran back into the woods where a neighbor shot it after being bitten.

It was taken to Raleigh where it tested positive for rabies.

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