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Rabies Surge in Arizona Alert ~ Update

Rabies surge in Arizona Alert ~ Update

The Arizona Republic .
Arizona is in the midst of an ongoing rabies outbreak, prompting a warning from state health officials to stay away from wild animals, particularly those acting strangely or aggressively.

The problem started last year, when there were a record 176 laboratory-confirmed rabies cases, mostly in bats, health officials said.

But since Jan. 1, the trend has become even more pronounced. Fifty-nine animals – primarily skunks and foxes – have tested positive for the viral illness, which can be deadly if not treated quickly.
So far, those rabid animals have exposed seven people and 39 domestic animals to the disease.

Campers have reported being attacked by foxes on trails, and some skunks have even entered private yards, lured by the possibility of food, health officials said.

Hardest-hit areas include Flagstaff and parts of Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties in the southern part of the state, officials said.

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