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DC Health: 3 kits of euthanized fox with rabies 'no longer able to be safely rehabilitated'

Three fox babies were humanely euthanized, after a female fox bit several people on Capitol Hill and tested positive for the rabies virus after she was euthanized.

WASHINGTON — The three kits of a female fox that bit several people on Capitol Hill earlier this week were "humanely euthanized," D.C. Health officials say.

The news comes after the mother fox was euthanized Wednesday and then tested positive for the rabies virus.

"Since the mother tested positive for the rabies virus and the kits could have been exposed during grooming or other means, they were no longer able to be safely rehabilitated," a DC Health statement said. 

The three kits were captured from the den site of the female fox who was reported for nine biting incidents on Capitol Hill. Among those who were bitten was U.S. Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.).

He received rabies shots at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. The congressman confirmed he was bitten by a fox on Monday.

"What does the fox say? Last night, I found out…[,]" he tweeted. "Joking aside, animal bites are extremely serious. In the case of an encounter, please speak with a physician immediately." 

The female fox was captured on Capitol Hill grounds Tuesday and euthanized on Wednesday. The fate of her kits was unclear until she tested positive for rabies.

Bera tweeted after the news broke that the fox was euthanized Wednesday saying he was back working and feeling healthy. He also tagged Capitol Fox on Twitter, a parody account poking fun at the incident.

"Despite the dustup, I hold no grudge or ill will against @thecapitolfox. Hoping the and its family are safely relocated and wishing it a happy and prosperous future," Bera tweeted. 

The parody Capitol Fox responded to Bera, tweeting, "On the advice of counsel I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege."

The World Health Organization says that rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease, but once symptoms appear the virus is deadly.

Anyone who encounters a potentially sick, injured or aggressive fox should call animal control at 202-723-3730. People who come in physical contact with a fox should call DC Health at 202-442-9143.

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