GLOUCESTER – Mayor Greg Verga and Health Director Mary Ellen Rose report that the Gloucester Health Department has been notified by the Massachusetts Public Health Department that a fox found in Gloucester tested positive for rabies.
The fox that tested positive was found in the area of 86 Concord St., on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Rabies is a serious disease and immediate consultation with medical staff is needed after possible exposures. Any person who was bitten, scratched or who was exposed to the fox’s saliva has had a high-risk exposure.
Residents are urged to be cautious of wild animals while outdoors and when walking pets. You should never approach or try to pet an animal that is found outdoors.
If you believe you or someone you know may have had contact with this fox, please contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at 617-983-6800 (available 24 hours), or your health care provider for a risk assessment.
Following an exposure to rabies, disease can be prevented with prompt administration of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
PEP consists of both rabies immune globulin (RIG) and vaccine. RIG is administered once and helps provide immediate protection until the person responds to the vaccine by actively producing antibodies. The vaccine series consists of four shots with the first dose administered promptly after the exposure and then again 3, 7, and 14 days later. Persons with altered immunocompetence should receive an additional dose of vaccine on day 28.
If residents believe their pet may have had contact with the fox, please contact Gloucester Animal Control for more information at 978-281-9746.