Officials: Possible rabid fox found in Cheshire Forest

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — The Chesapeake Health Department announced on Wednesday that a fox was transported from a backyard pool in Cheshire Forest for rabies testing.

Officials are currently unable to confirm or deny the presence of the rabies virus. However, there are no known human or animal exposures to the fox.

“An animal exposure is a serious medical event, for which prompt evaluation is critical,” said Dr. Nancy Welch, MD, health director for the Chesapeake Health Department. “A prompt assessment will lead to timely response which may include observation or testing of an animal and, when necessary, rabies vaccinations. Rabies is highly preventable if vaccine is given early and as recommended. Unfortunately, without preventive treatment, by the time someone develops symptoms of rabies, there is no cure and the disease is fatal in almost 100% of cases”

The Health Director also released several important rabies prevention guidelines:

  1. To prevent rabies in dogs and cats, keep them up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
  2. Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment. All animal exposures must be taken seriously.
  3. Do not approach wild animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes or skunks. If you think a wild animal needs help, call the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources or a licensed, wildlife rehabilitator for guidance.
  4. Bring stray domestic animals, especially if they appear ill or injured, to the attention of local animal control authorities. If you think a stray animal needs help, contact your local animal control office for guidance.
  5. Securely seal garbage containers with lids.

Anyone having information regarding any exposure to this animal (bite, scratch or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose, mouth) should contact the Chesapeake Animal Control at (757) 382-8080 or the Chesapeake Health Department at (757) 382-8672.

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