Second rabid fox found in Pughsville

Published 11:07 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A dog bitten by a fox in the Person Street area of Suffolk last week had to be euthanized after the fox tested positive for rabies, according to the Suffolk Health Department.

The dog had not been vaccinated for rabies. The owner, who was also bitten, has started a course of treatment to prevent rabies.

The incident happened in the same area as a series of events May 6-7 in which a rabid fox attacked two children and a dog before being killed by the dog.

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Exposure of humans to rabies occurs when the saliva of an infected animals enters the body through an open wound or mucous membrane, such as when an animal bite occurs. Humans must undergo a series of shots to prevent rabies from developing. By the time symptoms occur, the disease is fatal in almost all human cases.

Exposure to rabies in unvaccinated animals also is fatal.

The Health Department had the following suggestions for protecting residents and their pets from rabies:

  • If your pet has contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact Suffolk Animal Control at 514-7855 or the Health Department at 514-4751.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately for any animal bite.
  • Do not approach wild or stray animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, cats or dogs.
  • Make sure all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations. State law requires this of all dogs and cats more than 4 months old.
  • Confine your pets to your property.
  • Securely seal garbage cans with lids to avoid attracting wild animals to your property.