Rabid fox attack in Augusta County: Virginia Department of Health offers advice

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The Virginia Department of Health reported a fox attack in the Hildebrand Church Road area of Augusta County on Sunday.

The fox eventually tested positive for rabies. The fox no longer poses a threat, but any human or animal that may have been exposed to the fox’s saliva would be considered a potential exposure and should receive medical evaluation.

As with any positive animal the advice would be to:

  • Never approach a wild animal, especially a raccoon, fox, skunk or bat, especially if behaving oddly or seen in the daylight. These animals are the main carriers of rabies in the eastern U.S.
  • Avoid stray cats and dogs, which may also carry rabies. Report any bites or scratches to your physician or the health department.
  • Vaccinate your dogs, cats and ferrets and keep their vaccinations up to date.
  • Do not feed wild animals or strays. Eliminate outdoor food sources.
  • Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.

If a wild animal bites or interacts with a domestic animal, notify the local health department and animal control, and have the animal seen by a veterinarian.

If you are bitten, scratched or licked by any of these animals, seek medical attention. Rabies is fatal to animals and humans once symptoms begin, but can be prevented in humans if they receive vaccine and medication soon after exposure.

For questions, call the Central Shenandoah Health District at 540-332-7830. For more information online, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/animal-contact-human-health and www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/Rabies


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