SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Four people are being treated after being bit by a rabid fox in Suffolk.
Health officials say one adult and one child were bitten by a fox on December 15 and two adults were bitten by a fox on December 16. It is believed that the same fox bit all four people.
Both of the incidents occurred in the same community off of Kings Fork Road. Specifically, the incidents occurred near the intersection of Cathedral Drive and Green Chapel Road.
All four people have begun treatment for rabies.
“This is very rare. It does not happen very often where multiple people are involved especially over a couple of days,” said The Environmental Health Manager for the Western Tidewater Health District, Jay Duell.
Duell says the fox was caught by animal control in someone’s yard.
Those who live nearby are asked to contact the Suffolk Health Department if their pets show any signs that they have been in the fight. Always report any human contact with a wild animal and always, avoid and report strange acting wildlife to your local Animal Control.
“It’s recommended you get the vaccination within two weeks of when you were bitten,” stated Duell.
Dr. Billie Blair-Taylor, MD, acting health director for the Western Tidewater Health District, strongly emphasizes the following recommendations for Suffolk residents to take in protecting their families and their pets from rabies:
- If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact Suffolk Animal Control at (757) 514-7855 or the Suffolk Health Department at (757) 514-4751
- Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment. All animal exposures must be taken seriously.
- Do not approach wild or stray animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, cats and dogs.
- Ensure all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations. Please consult your veterinarian, Suffolk Animal Control, or the Suffolk Health Department if you have any questions about pet vaccinations.
- Confine your pets to your property.
- Securely seal garbage containers with lids.
Those who may have been exposed or have questions are asked to contact the Suffolk Health Department at (757) 514-4751 or Suffolk Animal Control at (757) 514-7855.