Sedona reports first rabies case in Arizona for 2013

Yavapai County has recorded the first Arizona rabid animal attack for 2013.

On Jan. 2, a minor was bitten by a fox while outside their home. The incident occurred in Sedona near Elmerville Road. The fox was captured by a game and fish officer and immediately sent to the Arizona State Public Health Lab to be tested for Rabies.

The test came back positive on Jan. 3.

It was reported that a second fox behaving abnormally may be in the Sedona area. AZ Game and Fish is asking residents to keep an eye out for the animal and to report any suspicious animals immediately to 602-942-3000.

Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) continues to strongly recommend that residents take extra precautions when near or around wild animals.

Rabies is an infectious disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People and unvaccinated animals may get rabies from the bite of an infected animal, or if saliva from the animal gets directly into a person's or animal's eyes, nose, mouth or any break in the skin. Rabies vaccine is given to individuals after exposure to an infected animal to prevent the disease. Rabies is nearly always fatal if not treated after exposure.

Follow these tips to protect yourself and your pets from rabies:

• Be sure that all cats and dogs have current rabies vaccinations.

• Contact your veterinarian if you are unsure of the status of your pet's rabies vaccinations, or watch for locally sponsored vaccination clinics.

• While enjoying outdoor activities, make sure pets are on leashes.

• Never handle a wild animal like a bat, raccoon, skunk, or fox.

• Wash animal bites thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

• If bitten by a wild/stray animal, quarantine the animal if possible. Call the local animal control or the Arizona Game and Fish Department to report an incident.

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