Fox that attacked 5 people in New Jersey tests positive for rabies

GLEN RIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A red fox that attacked five people in a northern New Jersey community and also tried to attack a police officer has tested positive for rabies, officials confirmed Thursday.

Glen Ridge police say the first attack was reported around 9:15 a.m. Friday, and as officers from that department and the Bloomfield Animal Control agency searched for the animal, authorities learned that two other people had also been bitten.

Officers found the fox about two hours later near the New Jersey Transit railroad tracks, where authorities say it was euthanized after it attempted to attack one of the officers.

The two other people attacked by the fox apparently were not bitten.

The Glen Ridge health and police departments are now advising anyone who had direct contact with a red fox around November 14 and November 15 to seek immediate medical attention and to call the health department at 973-680-4024 for any needed guidance.

Rabies is a deadly disease that with prompt treatment is 100 percent controllable but without prompt treatment becomes a fatal disease.

Therefore, it is imperative to obtain prompt treatment following a bite or exposure to the saliva of an infected animal.

If a pet is known to have had contact with a red fox around the same time frame, its owner is urged to contact a veterinarian to discuss proper treatment.

Residents are also advised that other wildlife could have been exposed to this fox and could also develop rabies, including raccoons, skunks and feral cats.

Should there be an immediate concern about an animal exhibiting abnormal behavior, contact the Glen Ridge Police Department.

In addition to keeping pets current on rabies vaccination, residents are urged to:
--Avoid contact with wild animals
--Do not feed wild animals or stray cats and dogs
--Eliminate outdoor food sources around the home
--Keep pets confined to your property or walk them on a leash

Any concerns for wildlife population control and behavior questions may be directed to NJS Fish & Game Wildlife Control at 908-735-8793.

CLICK HERE for additional information regarding fox in New Jersey.

CLICK HERE for additional information regarding rabies.

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