The man who handled a rabid red fox in Wayne on Monday has been found, according to the state Health Department.

He seems to be fine, said spokeswoman Holli Senior.

He wasn't bitten, which is the usual method of transmission. Saliva getting into an open wound would also be a worry.

A pre-determination isn't feasible, since the only reliable test uses brain tissue.

But a series of injections can prevent the disease from being fatal if begun within about 48 hours of infection.

Symptoms range from fever and anxiety to strange behavior and even hallucinations.

The injured fox was found in the 400 block of East Lancaster Avenue, and nearby residents should not only keep a watchful eye on wildlife, but on their own animals.

"In that area, people should pay attention to their pets," she said.

The mystery man was holding the red in a blanket when authorities arrived, but left without identifying himself.

"Exposure includes having been bitten, scratched, or had saliva, nervous system fluid or tissue from an animal enter a person's open wound or mucous membranes such as eyes, nose or mouth. Under these circumstances, individuals should seek immediate medical attention," according to a department statement.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or