The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is advising Sussex County residents, who live or spend time near the areas of Burbage and Jones roads, and Burbage Road and Route 374 in Frankford, of a positive case of rabies in a fox.
The fox did not have any known contact with humans, however, there were reports of the fox attacking stray cats. If the attacked cats develop rabies, they will become a public health threat, especially to anyone who feeds them. The fox was tested for rabies and the results came back positive on Thursday, March 31, 2022.
Since Jan. 1, 2022, the Division of Public Health has performed rabies tests on 53 animals, three of which were confirmed to be rabid, which includes one raccoon and two foxes, including this positive animal. DPH only announces those rabies cases for which it is possible the animal had unknown contacts with additional humans or pets.
In 2021, DPH performed rabies tests on 193 animals, 19 of which were confirmed to be rabid, which includes one dog, one deer, one fox, one cow, two skunks, three cats, four raccoons, and six bats. These numbers differ from previous reports after a 2021 rabies data review.
Anyone who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched by, or encountered a fox or feral cat in this area should immediately contact their health care provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7.
Anyone in the area who thinks a fox may have bitten their pet should call their private veterinarian to have their pet examined and treated, and the exposure reported to the Delaware Department of Agriculture.