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Date: March 31, 2022
DOVER (March 31, 2022) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising Sussex County residents, who live or spend time near the areas of Burbage and Jones roads, and Burbage Road and Route 374 in Frankford, of a positive case of rabies in a fox. The fox did not have any known contact with humans, however, there were reports of the fox attacking stray cats. If the attacked cats develop rabies, they will become a public health threat, especially to anyone who feeds them. The fox was tested for rabies and the results came back positive on Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Since Jan. 1, 2022, the Division of Public Health has performed rabies tests on 53 animals, three of which were confirmed to be rabid, which includes one raccoon and two foxes, including this positive animal. DPH only announces those rabies cases for which it is possible the animal had unknown contacts with additional humans or pets. In 2021, DPH performed rabies tests on 193 animals, 19 of which were confirmed to be rabid, which includes one dog, one deer, one fox, one cow, two skunks, three cats, four raccoons, and six bats. These numbers differ from previous reports after a 2021 rabies data review.
Anyone who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched, or encountered a fox in this area should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7. Anyone in the area who thinks a fox may have bitten their pet should call their private veterinarian to have their pet examined and treated, and the exposure reported to the Delaware Department of Agriculture.
Rabies is a preventable disease. DPH recommends that individuals take the following steps to prevent rabies exposure:
If You Encounter an Animal Behaving Aggressively:
If You Encounter a Sick or Injured Animal:
For more information on the DPH rabies program, visit www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/rabies.html or call 1-866-972-9705 or 302-744-4995. For more information on rabies, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/rabies/.
Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.
DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.