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Rabid fox confirmed in Dover

DOVER — On Wednesday, July 10, the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) confirmed reports of a rabid fox that was caught on Monday, July 8, on Anderson Road in the town of Dover. 

According to County Health Commissioner A. K. Vaidian, MD, the fox was sent for testing on July 9 and the test results were confirmed on July 10.

The DBCH advises anyone who is aware of any contact between a fox and any person or domestic animal within the past two weeks to contact the department at 845-486-3404 Monday through Friday during normal business hours or 845-431-6465 after hours.

It was the second rabid fox discovered in Dover this spring. Another was seen on Sand Hill Road in May.

If left untreated, rabies can be fatal to humans and other animals, according to health officials, who warn people not to approach non-domesticated animals, especially animals that may be acting strangely.  

According to a DBCH press release, residents are warned that in addition to foxes, “other animals can carry and transmit rabies, including raccoons, bats and skunks, as well as domesticated animals like dogs, cats, ferrets and livestock. Any exposure to a potentially rabid animal through either a bite or its saliva should be reported to the department… Steps should be taken to safely capture the potentially rabid animal for follow-up.”

According to Vaidian’s office, “in Dutchess County, nearly 70 individuals undergo rabies post-exposure treatment annually. Rabies is a serious illness and is fatal if not treated. Don’t delay evaluation if you think you have been exposed to rabies.”

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