The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) confirmed today that a fox tested positive for rabies. The fox was found in a wooded area north of Interstate 40, west of Milton Road and south of University Ave. in west Flagstaff.
The fox was captured and tested after residents walking in the area reported the animal attacked their dog and bit them when they intervened. The individuals are receiving post exposure rabies prophylaxis treatment.
CCPHSD is reminding individuals to use caution to protect against rabies exposure when hiking, camping or in situation where wildlife may be present. Health officials recommend the following precautions to protect against rabies:
- Avoid wildlife, especially those exhibiting unusual wildlife behaviors which can include; showing no fear of humans, aggressive behavior, staggering and/or acting sickly, and nocturnal mammals active during daytime.
- Keep all pets current on vaccinations and obey leash laws.
- Always keep pets away from wild animals.
- Never pick up, touch, or feed wild or unfamiliar animals, even if they do not appear sick or aggressive.
- Report any wild animal exhibiting erratic or aggressive behavior.
- Seek immediate medical attention if bitten by or have contact with a wild animal.
- Pet owners should seek medical care from their veterinarian if their pet is bitten by wildlife.
To report unusual wildlife sightings or behavior call the Coconino County Public Health Services District Animal Management Program at 928-679-8756. To report a wildlife emergency call 911.
For more information on rabies visit www.azhealth.gov/rabies.