A fox — known to have bitten at least two people in the Mount Cross Road and Tyler Avenue area on Thursday — has tested positive for rabies, the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District reported late Sunday.
“The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District would like to alert the community that anyone who received a bite or scratch, or was otherwise exposed to fox saliva around July 21 in the area of Mount Cross Road and Tyler Avenue in Danville should seek care immediately at the nearest emergency department,” a press release read.
Rabies is a 100% fatal disease once symptoms appear, the statement said. However, it can be avoided if treatment begins immediately after exposure.
“For those who are already exposed or are concerned that they may have been exposed, they should contact their personal provider for evaluation and possibly treatment,” local health district manager Dr. Scott Spillmann told the Register & Bee la last week.
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The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District encourages everyone to have their pets vaccinated to protect them, their family members, loved ones and the community as a whole from rabies, the statement said. Virginia law requires pets to be vaccinated against rabies.
In addition to keeping pets vaccinated and keeping vaccinations up to date, the department offers measures to protect families and pets from exposure to rabies:
Avoid contact with wild animals, such as raccoons and skunks or stray cats and dogs;
Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs;
Report stray animals to your local animal control agency;
Eliminate outside food sources around the house; and
Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.
To learn more, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/animal-contact-human-health/ or call the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District at 434-766-9828.