Fox that attacked several people in N.J. was rabid, borough says – NJ.com

A fox that attacked several people in Essex County last week tested positive for rabies, officials said Wednesday.

Police killed the fox after it bit three people and tried to attack an officer Friday in Glen Ridge, according to borough officials.

“The fox is known to have had direct contact with at least four individuals,” borough police said in a statement on social media.

Anyone who had direct contact with a Red fox around Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 should seek immediate medical attention, a joint statement from the police and health departments said. Any pets that were in contact with the fox was also urged to contact a veterinarian.

“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,” the borough’s statement said.

“Please be aware that other wildlife could have been exposed to this fox and could also develop rabies, including raccoons, skunks and free-roaming cats,” according to the statement. “Should there be an immediate concern about an animal exhibiting abnormal behavior, contact the Glen Ridge Police Department.”

Officials responded about 9:15 a.m. Friday to an area near Woodland Avenue on a report of a person bitten by a red fox, according to police. While tending to that incident, two other people reported they were attacked.

“In total, there were five reported attacks, three of which resulted in bite-related injuries,” Lt. Timothy Faranda, spokesman for the Glen Ridge Police Department, said in an email Monday. “All three bite victims were brought to local hospitals for treatment.”

Anyone with questions can call Glen Ridge health officials at 973-680-4024.

Noah Cohen may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @noahyc. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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