HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chickahominy Health District has announced that a fox tested positive for the rabies virus in Mechanicsville.

The fox is now deceased but residents in the areas surrounding Totopotomy Creek and Richmond National Battlefield Park are warned to take action if they have been exposed to any animal that may have had the virus.

“Potential exposures to a rapid animal include bites, scratches, or contact with saliva by open wound or eyes, nose, and/or mouth,” a release from the Chickahominy Health District reads. “Exposures also include direct contact between your pet and the rabid animal.”

Rabies is a fatal, but preventable, disease carried by mammals that is endemic to the area.

The Chickahominy Health District has issued the following guidelines as a reminder to all citizens:

  • Vaccinate your pets.
  • Report all exposures to animals to your doctor and the local health department.
  • Enjoy wildlife from a distance — do not feed or encourage wild animals such as raccoons, skunks or foxes to visit your property.

Anyone with information regarding any exposure to this animal in the days leading up to Sunday, Aug. 7, is encouraged to contact the Hanover Health Department at 804-365-4313. After hours, please contact Hanover County Animal Control at 804-365-6140.