Health Dept. Issues Alert about Aggressive Fox at Large in Yorktown

The Westchester County Department of Health is alerting residents that a fox attacked three people in Yorktown over the weekend, and the fox is still at large.

Due to its aggressive behavior, the fox is believed to be rabid.  The Health Department used robo-calls to notify nearby residents.

The first attack occurred at 6 a.m. Saturday, when a jogger was bitten by a fox on Lee Boulevard. A second man was bitten in his backyard on North Deerfield Road at 8:30 a.m., and on Sunday at 12:30 p.m., a woman was bitten in her backyard.  All three are receiving preventive rabies treatment.

“Stay alert and closely supervise children and pets when outside,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “If you see a fox stay away from it and contact local police immediately.”

Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. It may lose fear of people and become excited and irritable, or, conversely appear particularly passive and lethargic. Staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted.

Residents who see a stray or wild animal acting strangely should avoid contact with the animal and alert local authorities to avoid possible exposure to rabies. Residents are also advised to keep their trash can lids securely sealed and avoid leaving pet food outdoors.

Any physical contact with a wild or unfamiliar animal should be reported to a health care provider. All animal bites or contacts with animals suspected of having rabies must be reported to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000, 24 hours a day.

Keeping pet rabies vaccinations up to date is also important for protection against rabies. New York State law requires dogs, cats and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies and receive regular booster shots.  For more information, go to www.westchestergov.com/health or call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010.

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