Warning issued after rabid fox attacks animal control officer in Galax

New River Valley News

GALAX, Va. (WFXR) — Health officials are warning members of the Galax community after a rabid fox attacked an animal control officer and at least one other animal in recent days.

According to the Mount Rogers Health District, a gray fox attacked an animal control officer in the 900 block of West Stuart Drive in Galax on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

The health district says the fox has not only tested positive for rabies, but it was in “an advanced disease state,” which means it would have been infectious and active in the area for more than a week.

In addition, health officials say the fox had recently fought with a skunk and — based on the hair in its teeth — possibly other animals as well, thus creating more disease reservoirs that may become rabid in the coming months.

In light of this rabid fox discovery, you are asked to make sure your pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date. In fact, the health district says that livestock can also be vaccinated against rabies.

If you know of any person or mammal pets that may have come in contact with a grey fox in this area recently, you are asked to contact the Galax City Health Department at (276) 236-6127 or the Galax Police Department at (276) 236-8101.

“Remember, rabies is fatal once the symptoms appear,” the Mount Rogers Health District said in a Facebook post on Saturday, Jan. 30. “All mammals (including humans) can get rabies. Rabies is most commonly transmitted by a bite, but also may be transmitted by saliva or brain tissue of a rabid animal coming into contact with eyes, mucous membranes, or open wounds.”

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