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Health officials seek victims of rabid fox

Infected animal attacked people in Jessup
Posted: 6:26 PM, Jul 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-30 18:34:54-04

Rabid, dangerous and determined.

Security cameras capture images of a gray fox attacking a man outside a business in Jessup not once, but three times---circling him as he backs in a defensive posture before ultimately knocking him to the ground and then taking flight to make its getaway.

"The fox was literally chasing people and biting them,” said Patty Casper-Vallar, “We know of three people that got bit.  Apparently, there are some others, but we're not real sure."
    
An officer with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene and killed the animal with a single shot. 
    
It has since tested positive for rabies.
    
Now, the Anne Arundel County Health Department is going door-to-door and posting signs as it spreads word of the rabid fox throughout the area along Route 175 with public safety in mind.

"We're very interested in finding anyone that might have had contact with the animal.  Rabies is a fatal disease," said Tom Burja of the department’s Environmental Health Bureau, "They will go through some shots.  It's nothing like in the old days.  It's not in the stomach or anything like that.  They'll infiltrate the wound in one spot and then there's a series of about five shots that they'll go through throughout the course of a month."
    
The fox apparently began its rampage on Thursday before attacking the man featured in the video the following morning, and at least one victim never even realized what type of animal had attacked her.

"She thought it was a dog Thursday night, but she ended up going to the hospital Friday,” said Casper-Vallar, “Apparently, five people.  Not positive.  We know of three.  He actually got one person twice.  He got one person Thursday night and then Friday morning."
    
Rabies is spread by a bite, a scratch or through the infected animal's saliva, and if you had contact with the fox, you're asked to call the health department immediately at 410-222-7256. 

If you suspect your pet may have been bitten or scratched, you should call animal control at 410-222-8900.