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A fox discovered on Fifth Avenue in North Versailles Twp. has tested positive for rabies, the Allegheny County Health Department said Monday.
The fox was found last week in the 3300 block, just past Westinghouse Avenue, according to Ryan Scarpino, health department spokesman.
Meanwhile, East McKeesport police announced Monday night that volunteers from the health department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be spreading baits laced with rabies vaccine in the area beginning Aug. 3 and continuing through Aug. 17.
The baits --- designed to be eaten by raccoons --- are about the same size as a packet of ketchup, police said. Residents who see them should not touch them, and pets should be kept on a leash or indoors until at least a week after the baits are set.
The fox found in North Versailles is the 11th rabid animal confirmed so far in Allegheny County this year, Scarpino said. The others included five bats, four raccoons and a groundhog.
Rabies is a virus transmitted by an animal bite or scratch, and exposures due to a bite or scratch are almost always fatal when left untreated, he said. Any individual who is bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to saliva from a stray or wild animal should immediately cleanse the area with soap and water, seek emergency medical treatment and call the Allegheny County Health Department at (412) 687-2243 to report the incident, Scarpino said.
Residents should make sure their pets are vaccinated against rabies, he said. Stray animals and wildlife should be avoided. If any animal appears to be acting strange or becomes threatening, residents should notify their local animal control service, the police or the Pennsylvania Game Commission immediately, he said.
Originally published July 30, 2018.