What's worse than a mad fox loping around Capitol Hill biting anyone it can get its jaws around? Well, this, for one:
A fox that bit a congressman and at least eight other people near the U.S. Capitol was euthanized and found to have rabies, city health officials said Wednesday.
"The DC Public Health lab has confirmed the fox that was captured yesterday tested positive for the rabies virus. DC Health is contacting all human victims who were bitten by the fox," the department said in a statement.
The health department said earlier in the day that the female fox was "responsible for 9 confirmed bites on Capitol Hill" and was "humanely euthanized so that rabies testing may be done."
The test came back positive Wednesday evening.
Yeah that's...not good.
Rabies is very, very serious business. It's more or less 100% fatal in cases where symptoms appear.
Thankfully, a course of "post-exposure prophylaxis" is a reliable way of preventing that from occurring. According to the World Health Organization: "Starting the treatment soon after an exposure to rabies virus can effectively prevent the onset of symptoms and death."
So yeah. If you see a Canidae stomping around D.C. foaming at the mouth, maybe go the other direction.
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