ANIMALS

Fourth animal tests positive for rabies in Fairfax Co.

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A fox tested positive for rabies Tuesday, making it the fourth animal to test positive for the virus in Fairfax County this month.

A man reported the sick fox in his driveway near Chain Bridge Road and Whitehead Street. An animal control officer took the animal to a veterinary hospital where it was euthanized. Testing revealed the fox was rabid.

There was no report of human exposure.

In early September, a woman was hospitalized after a rabid beaver attacked her while swimming at Lake Barcroft. Another beaver chased a group of young kids at a fishing competition near the Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield. A family also lost a dog after it attacked a rabid raccoon.

Fairfax County averages about 50 positive cases of rabies each year with the prime carrier being raccoons.

Citizens are reminded to vaccinate all pets to keep them safe. Both adults and children should use caution when approaching a stray animal or any wildlife, especially foxes and raccoons.

Signs that may indicate the animal has rabies include snarling, growling, hissing or the animal approaching people. An animal displaying such behavior should be reported.

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