In the evening of April 26, Animal Control captured a fox that was exhibiting strange behavior in the area of Riviera Boulevard. The fox was sent to the State Health Department Rabies Lab for testing. On April 30, the Vineland Health Department received notification indicating that the fox tested positive for rabies.
“We would like homeowners to examine their pets for wounds of unknown origin and if anything suspicious is found please see your veterinarian or contact the health department” stated Robert Dickinson, health officer for the City of Vineland Health Department. We are also asking residents in the area to be watchful for any animals exhibiting strange behavior, signs of illness or undue aggression. Dickinson stated, we do not know at this time how long the fox has been ill, if it has attacked any other wildlife or if there are other foxes which could be rabid as well. Individuals who may have come in contact with, or had their pets come in contact with the fox are encouraged to contact the Health Department at 856-794-4131.
Rabies in humans is rare in the United States. There are usually only one or two human cases per year. The individuals who were attacked by a fox are receiving prophylaxis treatment and are under the care of their healthcare provider. The Vineland Health Department would like to remind residents how serious rabies can be and that it is very important to have pets vaccinated. Rabies is a virus that can infect all species of mammals.
Raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, groundhogs and bats are known to carry the virus and infect other animals. If someone sees an animal acting strangely, they should:
• Stay well away from the animal and advise others to do so.
• Advise local authorities immediately by calling Animal Control at 856-691-4111.