SUFFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from April 27, 2021.
The Suffolk Health Department has released a notice that four people in Suffolk were bitten by a fox that tested positive for rabies and are now receiving preventative treatment.
The incidents happened in the Cathedral Drive and Greene Chapel Road areas. An adult and child were bitten on December 15, and two separate adults were bitten on December 16, according to a release.
Officials believe it was the same fox, which tested positive for rabies on December 18.
The adults and child are receiving preventative treatment at this time. Humans are at risk for rabies when they come in contact with the saliva of an animal that is infected and it enters their body through a bite or wound.
If you have a pet that goes outdoors, keeping them up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations is key in preventing serious illness and death from the disease.
Without vaccination and treatment, rabies will typically cause death.
It's highly preventable if the vaccine is given promptly, according to the Western Tidewater Health District.
Residents in the nearby area are asked to monitor their animals for any possible symptoms. If you suspect that you or your pet were also in contact with the rabid fox, contact the Suffolk Health Department at 757-514-4751 or Suffolk Animal Control at 757-514-7855.
If you or a pet have been bitten by a wild animal, seek medical care immediately. Health officials encourage the public to not approach wild animals and to keep their pets contained to their yards.