UPDATE 5:40 p.m. (7/29/22) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has shared an update regarding the rabid fox investigation in Danville.
The VDH says the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District is investigating several recent attacks against people by a rabid fox in the area around Mount Cross Road and Tyler Avenue.
According to health officials, the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District has recommended trapping other animals to be tested for rabies, including feral cats, raccoons, possums, and skunks that may have been exposed to rabies and pose a potential threat to pets in the area.
Trapping the animals is a preventative measure taken to prevent the spread of rabies and protect public health, the department says.
The VDH tells WFXR News that animal control officers are in the process of trapping the animals and taking them to the Danville Area Humane Society, where they will be held in a separate area. After 10 days, they will be sent to the state lab in Richmond for additional analysis.
Health officials are still advising pet owners in the area to keep their pets indoors or on a leash until the trapping period ends in approximately three weeks. If
“Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that is 100% fatal if contracted,” the VDH said in a statement on Friday, July 29. “Any incident in which a person has been bitten or scratched by an animal, or exposed to the animal’s saliva should be reported to the local health department right away, in order to determine any risk of rabies exposure and recommendations for public health and medical follow up. Any incident in which a pet or other domestic animal is attacked or bitten by a wild animal should also be reported.”
If you think you may have been exposed to the rabid fox or any other animal near Mount Cross Road or Tyler Avenue, you are asked to call the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District at 434-766-9828.
UPDATE 3:44 p.m. (7/27/22): The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has provided new information regarding the rabid fox that bit at least two people in Danville last Thursday, including the impact on local feral cats.
According to health officials, the Danville Police Department and animal control officers will try to capture a group of feral cats that may have been in contact with the rabid fox before it was killed.
The VDH says traps will be placed in areas where feral cats have been seen for the next three weeks. Once captured, the cats will be held for 10 days at the Danville Area Humane Society.
During the three-week trapping period, health officials advise pet owners to keep their pets — especially domestic cats — confined to their property so they don’t get stuck inside the traps and brought to the shelter. If your pet does go missing, you should call the Danville Area Humane Society at 434-799-5306.
In addition, the VDH continues to ask anyone who potentially came in contact with the rabid fox or any other animal near the Walmart on Mount Cross Road or near Tyler Avenue to contact the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District at 434-776-9800.
“Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease. It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal,” the VDH said in a statement on Wednesday, July 27. “Any person or family pet bitten or scratched by an animal should be reported to the local health department in order to determine any risk of rabies exposure and to receive recommendations for medical care.
More information about rabies can be found by visiting the VDH website.
DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District says a fox tested positive for rabies after biting two people on Thursday.
The health district tells WFXR News the rabid fox was found near Mount Cross Road and Tyler Avenue on Thursday, July 21 before it was humanely killed in Danville on Saturday, July 23. The fox was sent in for rabies testing and came back positive.
Anyone who was bitten, scratched, or exposed to the fox’s saliva is urged to seek medical care immediately at the nearest emergency room. Officials say that once symptoms begin, rabies is a 100% deadly disease, however it can be prevented and treated immediately after exposure.
The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District urges everyone to vaccinate their pets to protect them and the community from rabies, adding that Virginia law requires all domestic animals to have rabies vaccines.
Health officials provided the following steps to take in addition to getting rabies vaccines:
- Avoid contact with wild animals, such as raccoons and skunks, or stray cats and dogs
- Do not feed wild or stray animals
- Report stray animals to your local animal control agency
- Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home
- Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash.
Additional information can be found by visiting the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website or calling the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District at 434-766-9828.