Fox With Virus that Can Kill Humans, Pets Found in Hudson Valley
A fox with a transmittable fatal virus was found in a popular area in the Hudson Valley.
The Sullivan County Public Health Services issued an advisory to the public Monday afternoon that a fox found in a populated area on Waverly Avenue in the Village of Monticello tested positive for rabies.
"There was no exposure to people that our office has been made aware of at this time," Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw said. "Please be aware of your surroundings, especially in wooded areas, and notify the NYS DEC of any suspicious acting wild or domestic animals." The number for DEC is 845-256-3098.
Rabies is a virus that can become fatal in humans and animals, officials say. It impacts the central nervous system. It is most common in bats, raccoons, foxes, and skunks. Rabies is primarily transmitted by a bite. However, there is a risk of infection if saliva or nerve tissue from a rabid animal gets into someone's eyes, nose, or mouth or into an open wound.
While there haven't been any reports of the rabid fox attacking humans or animals, anyone who may have come in contact with the fox should call the Sullivan County Public Health Services at 845-292-591.
Household pets can also get exposed to rabies by interacting with the carcass of an animal that had rabies.
Everyone should use caution while approaching any wild animal, particularly any animal, wild or domestic, which exhibits signs of being ill. Some signs are a tame or dazed look, excessive drooling or foaming of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, dragging hind legs and mobility problems.
If you or a family member have had any contact with such an animal you should contact your doctor immediately.
Sullivan County Public Health Services is holding a free rabies clinic at the Monticello Fire House on Wednesday, from 6 to 7:30 pm. If your pet isn't vaccinated it is important you do it as soon as possible.
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