WASHINGTON — A fox that bit at least nine people on Capitol Hill, possibly including a congressman, tested positive for rabies on Wednesday, according to city health officials, after she had been euthanized in a grim turn in an episode that had briefly captivated those who live and work around Congress.
“The D.C. Public Health Lab has confirmed the fox that was captured yesterday tested positive for the rabies virus,” a statement from the city’s health agency said, advising anyone who had come into contact with the animal or its offspring to reach out to the authorities. “D.C. Health is contacting all human victims who were bitten by the fox.”
Washington health officials said earlier in the day that the fox had been euthanized so that she could be tested for rabies, eliciting an outpouring of sorrow for an animal that had become something of a mascot during its brief wanderings near the Capitol. But in an era of pandemic precautions and contact tracing, the diagnosis prompted speculation about who might have been exposed.
Representative Ami Bera, a California Democrat who had reported being bitten by a fox near the Capitol on Monday night and was treated soon after, said on Wednesday that he felt “healthy” and was back to work.