On Thursday a person at Wakelon Park in Zebulon, reported that a fox was acting strangely. Eyewitnesses said the fox approached a group of kids and parents.
Health department officials said three people beat the animal to death with a baseball bat and may have been exposed to its blood.
Animal Control responded and the fox was taken to the state lab in Raleigh for testing. A rabies test was confirmed Friday.
"We don't want to alarm residents in Zebulon, but they should be aware of these cases, and of the potential for exposure to themselves, family members and their pets," said Sue Lynn Ledford, community health director for Wake County.
The three people who were exposed have begun a series of treatments for rabies exposure. The process will require four treatments over the next 14 days.