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Yorktown fox tests positive for rabies virus

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Posted at 11:32 AM, Mar 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-04 11:32:57-05

Yorktown, Va. – A fox has tested positive for rabies in Yorktown, according to the Peninsula Health District.

The Peninsula Health District is notifying the residents of the Chisman Creek and Boathouse Creek area of Yorktown that a fox has tested positive for the rabies virus, according to Lois Gary, Public Information Contact for the Peninsula Health District.

Anyone having information regarding any exposure to this animal (bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose, mouth) is asked to contact the Health Department at (757) 594-7340. Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal. After hours, please contact the Yorktown Animal Control by calling the Yorktown Animal Dispatch telephone number at (757) 890-3621.

Rabies is a fatal, but preventable, disease that is carried by mammals and has been in the wild animal population on the Peninsula since the mid 1980’s. The local office of Environmental Health Services will be contacting the immediate neighbors as well as any civic or homeowner’s association that serves the community, according to the Peninsula Health District.

This particular case emphasizes the importance of enjoying wildlife from a distance, no matter how cute they may appear, according to officials. A citizen took this fox into their home to care for it as it appeared to be injured. After several days, it became ill and was euthanized. It was tested for rabies. The test indicated the fox was positive for rabies. As a result, all the family members are undergoing post exposure treatment for rabies.

The District would like to remind all citizens to follow these four important rabies prevention guidelines:

1. Vaccinate your pets.

2. Report all exposures to animals (usually bites and scratches) to your doctor and the local health department.

3. Enjoy wildlife from a distance – do not feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks or foxes to visit your premises.

4. Do not feed your pets outside, leave trash uncovered, or do anything that may attract wild animals to your property.