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Fox Tests Positive for Rabies in Frederick County
On March 16, 2021, the Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) received a report from the Maryland Department of Health Rabies Laboratory that a fox roaming in Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park near the Foxville Road parking lot has tested positive for rabies. The fox was collected on Saturday, March 13, 2021, from the area of the Yellow Blaze Trail that runs parallel to Foxville Road, after attacking one person and reportedly chasing several others.
The FCHD recommends that any people who may have had contact with this fox between Saturday, February 27, 2021, and Saturday, March 13, 2021, consult their health care provider and notify the FCHD’s Community Health Services Office at 301-600-3342. If any pets had contact with the fox, consult with your veterinarian and notify the FCHD’s Environmental Health Office at 301-600-1717.
Rabies is a viral disease that mainly infects mammals (warm-blooded animals who nurse their young) and is spread through the saliva of the infected animal, usually by a bite. Symptoms of rabies in animals may include fear of water, excessive salivation, failure to eat or drink, limping, unusually friendly or aggressive behavior, and/or other atypical behaviors such as nocturnal animals emerging during the daytime. The disease is nearly always fatal to humans.
Barry Glotfelty, Director for the Health Department’s Environmental Health Services, advises the public, “To protect your family from possible rabies exposure, do not touch or play with wild or stray animals and make sure that your pets are currently vaccinated.” If you or your pets have contact with a stray or wild animal, call Animal Control at 301-600-1544 to speak with an Animal Control Officer.