PD: Fox That Attacked People in Ipswich Tests Positive for Rabies

Police in Ipswich, Massachusetts, are issuing a warning after a fox that attacked several people over the weekend tested positive for rabies.

Three Ipswich residents were bitten by a fox on Saturday, according to police.

Ipswich Animal Control, Ipswich police and Massachusetts Environmental Police responded but were unable to locate the animal. The fox was later killed by a resident when he found it attacking one of his chickens.

The fox was sent to the state lab for testing, and Ipswich Animal Control received word Tuesday that it was rabid. The three bite victims have been notified and are receiving medical treatment.

A second aggressive fox was killed by police on Monday, but police said it wasn't immediately clear if it also had rabies.

Rabies is caused by a virus which is usually spread from animal to animal, but can also spread from an infected animal to a person. The virus causes brain inflammation and swelling and is almost always fatal if left untreated.

"We are taking these cases very seriously, and awareness is our best weapon in this situation," acting police Chief Jonathan Hubbard said. "Please heed these warnings and seek medical attention if you have come into contact with a fox recently or if you are bitten by a fox or other wild animal."

The town is reminding residents to make sure their pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Anyone with questions can contact Ipswich police at 978-356-4343.

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