An alert has been issued about rabies near the Biltmore Square Mall.
Health officials in Buncombe County say a fox was killed by a dog in the area. The fox tested positive for the virus.
They ask that anyone in that area should be on the lookout for animals that are acting abnormally.
Rabies is easily transmitted among wild animals and unvaccinated pets. The health department says the fox may have also come in contact with pets in the area.
If you see a rabid animal, or have concerns that your or a pet has come in contact with the virus, contact authorities immediately.
The Buncombe County Department of Health makes the following recommendations to prevent the spread of rabies:
- Keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets, and dogs.
- Stay away from wild animals and any animal you don't know. Keep children and pets away from these animals. Don't try to feed, touch, or play with a wild animal.
- Don't allow pets to run at large.
- Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids, and take them out in the morning of pick up, not the night before. Coyotes and other wildlife will scavenge trash.
- Feed pets indoors or remove food when your pet is finished eating outside. Wild animals are attracted to pet food left outdoors.
- Avoid contact with bats. If you find a bat during daylight hours, it is most likely unhealthy and should not be touched.
- Keep bird-feeder areas clean, and use bird feeders that keep seed off the ground. Foxes are attracted to small animals congregating on the ground. If you see foxes often, remove all feeders.
- Close off crawl spaces under sheds, porches, decks and homes. Some wildlife may use these spaces to rest or to build their dens.