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A fox involved in a fight with a pet near Blue Ridge Street in Berryville last week was captured, euthanized, and tested positive for rabies. Lord Fairfax Health District Director Colin Greene said because the incident occurred in town, there is concern people or other animals may have come in contact with this fox. Rabid animals spread the disease via a bite, scratch, lick, or other exposure to saliva or nerve tissue. Any person or any domestic animal that was exposed to a fox in that area between April 29 and May 9 should immediately receive a medical evaluation, Dr. Greene said. Owners of pets that go outdoors should talk with their veterinarians about rabies boosters. Additionally, the Health Department strongly advises:
• Never approach or touch wild animals, especially raccoons, foxes, skunks, or bats. These animals are the main carriers of rabies in the eastern U.S.
• Feral or unknown cats and dogs may also carry rabies. Report bites or scratches from these animals to your physician or the Health Department.
• Vaccinate all cats, dogs, and ferrets against rabies – even if they don’t go outdoors – and keep their shots up to date. Livestock owners should talk with their veterinarians.
• Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs. Eliminate outdoor food sources near the home.
• Keep pets confined to your property and/or walk them on a leash.
• Notify the local Health Department and Animal Control Officer if your domestic animal is bitten or otherwise interacts with a wild animal.
• Direct questions to the Clarke County Health Department at 540-955-1033.