The first incident occurred at Riverbend Park Wednesday around 8 a.m. A woman was running on a trail from the nature center to the river when she encountered and was bitten by a fox. She self-reported to Reston Hospital Center and is undergoing preventative treatment for potential exposure to rabies, police said. The trail has been temporarily closed.
The second incident occurred at around 9 a.m. the same day, in the 9100 block of Potomac Woods Lane, which is close to Riverbend Park. A woman told police went to check on her chickens and was confronted and bitten by a fox. She too self-reported to Reston Hospital Center for appropriate treatment. The fox is still at large.
There was a third animal bite incident in Fairfax County this week, on the other side of the county. The third incident was at about 11 a.m. on Thursday. A man reported that he was awakened by a raccoon in his home. He fought the raccoon off and was bitten during the struggle. He was eventually able to place his foot on the raccoon’s throat until it stopped breathing. He bagged and transported the animal to the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and then sought medical treatment.
Police confirmed on Friday the raccoon was rabid.
Animal Control says that it is unknown right now whether or not the fox/foxes are rabid, however aggressive tendencies such as those exhibited in these cases are one of the signs of rabies. They would also like to remind residents to keep their dogs on leash when walking in public areas.
Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that can infect both people and animals. People usually get rabies when they are bitten by an animal that is sick with the disease. The best way to protect yourself and your family from rabies: stay away from wild animals and be sure pets are vaccinated against rabies every year.
If bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention right away. In Fairfax County, residents should also immediately report animal bites, as well as sick or injured animals, to Animal Control Services at 703-691-2131 , TTY 703-877-3715.
Photo: Fox/Jans Canon via Flickr