The horror video captures the moment the mother-of-one was pounced on and viciously bit before desperately trying to shake the rabid fox loose. The retired nurse said she feared being “eaten alive” by the frenzied animal.
In the thirty-second attack last month, the persistent gray fox clung to 61-year-old Sherri Russo and repeatedly bit her hand and thigh with its fangs sixteen times.
It wasn’t until a brave neighbor with a stick charged the beast that it let go of a screaming Sherri and ran away.
Sherri said: ‘When I got the first nip on the outside of my leg, I actually thought it was our neighbor’s dog.
‘I lifted my leg and was getting ready to say “Hey, what are you doing?” and shoo him away, but I looked down and I saw this gray fox.
‘Never in my wildest dreams did I realise there was a rabid fox.’
Watch the video:
The courageous next-door neighbor was able to drive Sherri to the hospital, where the 16 puncture injuries on her right hand and left leg were cleansed and treated.
Following that, the mother had the first of four rabies vaccinations, a tetanus shot, immune globulin injections, and a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.
The fox was killed, and testing at a neighboring veterinary college revealed it had tested positive for rabies while Sherri was receiving treatment at the hospital.
Sherri, who experienced such extreme fear as being unable to leave her home for a week, is now pleading with others to be mindful of their surroundings and local animals.
‘I was so fearful that he was going to knock me over, he was going to attack my face and I was going to be eaten in my front yard’, Sherri said.
The victim’s husband, Paul Russo, posted the terrifying footage for the first time on Facebook on Sunday.
In his post, he wrote: ‘My wife was attacked by a rabid fox this past July. Our friend edited the security camera footage and made this educational video for us to post to alert everyone that this can happen to anyone.’
According to the New York Post, it was finally killed after assaulting another person nearby.
The fox was subsequently brought to Cornell University, where a lab test revealed that it was rabid.
The virus that causes rabies attacks the central nervous system and typically kills both people and animals. Most cases in the United States in recent years have been linked to contact with bats. It is most frequently transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.
Sleep problems, stress, disorientation, paralysis, excessive salivation, hallucinations, trouble swallowing, and a fear of water can all be symptoms of infection.
Only a few weeks after symptoms start, death may ensue. However, it can be avoided by administering a series of five doses within two weeks of exposure.
According to the CDC, 60,000 Americans are reportedly treated annually for suspected rabies exposure. Health authorities said some of the victims didn’t know they were sick or refused life-saving vaccines, which contributed to the five rabies deaths among Americans last year, the most in a decade.
In 2019 or 2020, there were no rabies fatalities reported. According to CDC authorities, 2011 was the last year in which five U.S. rabies deaths were documented in a single year.