June 23, 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: (757) 382-8672
Fox Picked Up for Rabies Testing in Cheshire Forest Neighborhood
(Chesapeake, Va.) – The Chesapeake Health Department recently sent a fox for rabies testing. In this case, the fox was located in the backyard pool of a resident in Chesapeake, Virginia on June 16, 2021. Due to the condition of the fox, we are unable to confirm or deny the presence of the rabies virus. At this time, there are no known human or animal exposures to the fox.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it. The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva and brain of rabid animals. It can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound or in the eye, nose or mouth.
Rabies is rare in currently vaccinated animals and is highly preventable in people. “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” To prevent rabies in dogs and cats, keep them up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
The health director strongly emphasizes the following recommendations for Chesapeake residents to take in protecting their families and their pets from rabies:
- If your pet or livestock has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, check for injuries and contact the Chesapeake Animal Control at (757) 382-8080 or the Chesapeake Health Department at (757) 382-8672.
- 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 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 (https://dwr.virginia.gov/).
- 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.
- Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets, and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up-to-date. Consult your veterinarian or the Chesapeake Health Department if you have any questions about pet vaccinations.
- Confine your pets to your property.
- Securely seal garbage containers with lids.
State law requires all dogs and cats over the age of four months to be vaccinated against rabies. For more information on rabies, contact the Chesapeake Health Department at (757) 382-8672 or Animal Control at (757) 382-8080 or visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website at www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/DEE/Rabies/ or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/default.htm