The Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) confirmed today that a second fox in west Flagstaff has tested positive for rabies. The fox was in an area south of I- 40, east of I-17 and north of Zuni Drive in Flagstaff.
The fox was found and tested for rabies after residents walking in the area reported the animal attacked one of them. The individual is receiving post exposure rabies prophylaxis treatment.
Last month, a fox found in west Flagstaff also tested positive for rabies. Ten animals have tested positive for rabies in Coconino County this year. In comparison, the number of animals confirmed with rabies in past years are three in 2017, two in 2016, two in 2015 and eight in 2014.
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.