Saturday, May 11, 2013

Arizona: Coyote, foxes positive for rabies in Young

The discovery of rabid foxes and coyotes near Young has prompted the Gila County Health Department to issue a warning and ask people to report abnormal wildlife behavior in the Young and Pleasant Valley areas.

A fox and coyote killed in Young in the past month have tested positive for rabies. In addition, a second fox found dead also tested positive. Health officials learned May 1 that a fox and coyote found at Forest Road and Mule Track Road, tested positive for rabies. The Gila County Rabies Control officers are responding to this situation and have increased surveillance in the Young area. No animal or human bites or exposures have been reported to the office.

Gila County Public Health Director Michael O’Driscoll said, “when positives are found, there is an action plan in place to widen the surveillance area until no positives are being found, which gives a better assurance that the virus has been contained.”

O’Driscoll urged people to keep pets vaccinated against rabies.