Cow is among animal victims of rabies in Fairfax County

September 24, 2013

The victims have included 21 raccoons, seven skunks, four foxes, a bat, a cat and a cow. All have tested positive in Fairfax County this year for rabies, police said Tuesday.

The list came in a notice that rabies awareness week in Fairfax runs through Sunday. The period includes Sept. 28, the date of World Rabies Day, an international campaign against the deadly viral disease.

The cow’s presence on the list was a reminder that Fairfax still has farms (166, with almost 1,000 head of cattle, were reported in 2007).

The National Capital Farms Web site said the largely developed county still retains a number of active farmers, who often grow hay for horses and cattle.

The infected cow showed symptoms in late August on a farm in the Great Falls area, the police said. Animal control officials responded, and the animal was euthanized.

It has not been determined how the cow contracted the disease, the police said. But they said the case underscores the need to vaccinate livestock.

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