Tompkins County Health Department

Update (12:19 p.m. Tuesday) — The Tompkins County Health Department has confirmed a fox that attacked people and pets near Kendall Avenue was rabid.

Rabies was confirmed in the fox Tuesday by the New York State Rabies Laboratory.

The health department said it was first informed of an attack around 1 p.m. Friday at Ithaca College. The health department enlisted help from Animal Control to help college’s Office of Public Safety to find the fox. There were additional reports of a fox attacking humans and pets Friday evening and early Saturday in neighborhoods off Coddington Road, east of Ithaca College.

The fox was located and killed Saturday morning by a deputy from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

Several people who encountered the fox are undergoing post-exposure treatment to prevent rabies. One dog received a rabies booster shot.

The health department said this is the third animal in Tompkins County confirmed to have rabies this year.

Anyone who has questions or thinks they or their pet may have been exposed to saliva from this fox or any other wild animal is urged to call the Health Department at 607-274-6688.

In a news release, the Health Department reminds everyone to:

  1. Avoid contact with any unfamiliar cats or dogs and any wild animals.
  2. All cats, dogs and ferrets must have initial rabies vaccinations administered no later than four months of age.  Keep vaccinations current!
  3. Report the following incidents to the Tompkins County Health Department at 274-6688:
    • All animal bites or scratches.
    • Any human or pet contact with saliva or other potentially infectious material (brain tissue, spinal tissue, or cerebro-spinal fluid) of wild animals or any animal suspected of having rabies.
    • All bat bites, scratches, or any mere skin contact with a bat, or a bat in a room with a child, or sleeping or impaired person.

Tompkins County has one remaining Spring Free Rabies Clinic on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at the Town of Ithaca Public Works building from 7 to 9 p.m.

Earlier–

ITHACA, N.Y. — Several people were bitten by a fox suspected of being rabid this weekend in Ithaca, the Tompkins County Health Department says.

A suspected rabid fox was reported Friday afternoon on Kendall Street near Ithaca College’s campus. The health department confirmed that several people were bitten by the fox “on and near the Ithaca College campus between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning” and are now receiving post-exposure treatment to prevent rabies.

Because the fox was exhibiting symptoms of rabies and was a danger to the public, it was killed and submitted for testing Saturday morning, according to Samantha Hillson, public information officer for the health department.

The testing results are expected Tuesday afternoon. If the fox tested positive, the public will be notified.

Anyone who has questions or thinks they or their pet may have been exposed to saliva from this fox or any other wild animal is urged to call the Health Department at 607-274-6688.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.