GALAX, Va. (WJHL) – Health officials are urging Carroll County residents to stay alert after a red fox found on Tuesday tested positive for rabies.

According to a Facebook post from the Mount Rogers Health District (MRHD), which covers Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington and Wythe Counties, the fox was found lying on the porch of a resident on Pine Knoll Drive in Galax, Virginia.

Before it was found, residents in the area told authorities that they may have heard animals fighting outside.

“The fox was likely active in the area for several days,” the post said. “And residents should be alert to possible exposed animals that could become rabid over the next few months.”

Anyone who believes they or a mammal pet was recently exposed to a red fox in the area is urged to call the Galax City Health Department at 276-236-6127.

MHRD officials also encouraged residents in the area to keep their pets’ rabies vaccinations up to date as well as any livestock with a vaccination available.

Rabies, which MHRD officials said is most commonly transmitted by a bite or exposure to infected material, is fatal once symptoms appear.