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Coconino County Health Officials Warn The Public About Rabies

Coconino County health officials are warning the public about exposure to rabies. County Health and Human Service officials say they have received several reports of potential and confirmed human and domestic animal exposures to rabies. One instance was in a Flagstaff neighborhood where two dogs interacted with a dead skunk found in their pen. As a result, the skunk is being tested for rabies to confirm if the dogs were exposed or not. An additional exposure involved a Flagstaff resident and two cats that were exposed to a bat suspected to have rabies. Test results in both cases are pending. Health officials say if you are bitten or have had contact with an animal suspected to have rabies, to seek immediate medical attention. Prior to symptoms appearing, rabies is a preventable viral disease, that’s most often transmitted from a bite, scratch or lick of a rabid animal. Most rabies cases reports to the health services district each year occur in wild animals like foxes and skunks. So remember to avoid all wildlife, especially those acting unusual, like having aggressive behavior, no fear of humans, or acting sickly. Also, keep all pets current on vaccinations and obey leash laws. For more information, log onto www.azhealth.gov/rabies.