Officials confirmed a rabid fox was roaming the Hudson Valley.

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On Tuesday, Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health announced a sick red fox was recently observed on Sand Hill Road in Dover.

The fox was later caught and tested positive for rabies, officials say.

"If anyone or any domestic animal has had direct contact with a fox in the past two weeks, please call DBCH as soon as possible at (845) 486-3404 Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM, or at (845) 431-6465 on evenings and weekends," Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health said.

If left untreated, rabies is fatal in humans, officials say.

Don't approach non-domesticated animals, officials warn. If you see an animal acting strangely, or if you, your pet, or someone you know gets bitten by, or has an open wound exposed to the saliva or nervous tissue of a domestic or wild animal, officials advise.

The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health advises people can also help protect themselves from rabies by observing the following guidelines:

• Don’t feed, touch, or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats.
• Be sure your pets and livestock are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
• Keep family pets indoors at night. Don’t leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.
• Don’t attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals.
• Feed pets indoors.
• Tightly cap or put away garbage cans.
• Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch, or garage. Cap your chimneys with screens.
• If nuisance wild animals are living in your home, consult with a nuisance wildlife control expert about having them removed. You can find wildlife control experts in the phone book under pest control.
• DO NOT discard a bat found in your sleeping area upon waking, or one you may have come into contact with, try to trap or capture it if you can do it safely, so that it can be tested.
• Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.
• If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside.
• Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to your county health department. If possible, do not let any animal escape that has possibly exposed someone to rabies.

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