JAMES CITY COUNTY — On Friday, Aug. 20, Virginia Department of Health – Peninsula Health District has released information regarding a rabid fox that was discovered in James City County.
The Peninsula Health District released a statement to notify residents of the Mt. Folly area of the county (particularly those living in and around Sycamore Landing Road) that a fox tested positive for the potentially deadly virus.
Rabies is considered a fatal, yet preventable, virus which is carried by mammals. On the Peninsula, it has been part of the wild animal population since the mid-1980s.
The District is asking that anyone who may have had exposure to this animal in the days leading up to Aug. 19 to contact the Health Department at Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Environmental Health Office at (757) 603-4277 and, for after hours, to contact the James City County/Williamsburg Animal control at (757) 565-0370.
Exposure can include bites, scratches, or contact with saliva by open wound, eyes, nose or mouth.
The release states that the District would like to remind residents of three important rabies prevention guidelines:
- Keep vaccinations for pets against rabies up-to-date
- Report any exposures to animals (usually bites/scratches) to a healthcare provider and the local health department
- Not to encourage local wildlife (raccoons, skunks, foxes) by feeding them, especially not on premises of a resident’s home. It is advised to enjoy wildlife at a distance.