Wild fox sparks Prince William Co. rabies concerns

The Prince William Health District warned residents that a fox found on Sept. 19 near the intersection of Bethel Church Drive and Smoketown Road tested positive for rabies.

Officials for the health district said this discovery follows “multiple reports of fox bites and encounters” in Woodbridge, Virginia.

“While a rabid fox tested through Virginia Department of Health cannot be confirmed to be associated with the various events, caution should be taken with wildlife in the area,” the department said in a statement.

Animals vaccinated against rabies may be safe from the deadly virus, but getting sick from the virus often leads to death. Therefore, the department is reminding its residents to make sure their animals are vaccinated by a veterinarian.

The department also said people should avoid wild animals around the Minnieville and Smoketown Road area.

Likewise, the department said that residents should avoid feeding and interacting with stray animals, feed pets indoors, and keep wild animals out of homes.

If you are bitten by a wild animal, wash the wound with soapy water and contact a health official or animal control.

PWHD also asks anyone who may have come in contact with wildlife “acting strangely in or around this area” to call the health district at 703-792-5363 or Prince William Animal Control Division at 703-792-6500.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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