Coconino County Public Health Services District (CCPHSD) officials are urging people to protect themselves against rabies.

CCPHSD advises individuals to seek immediate medical attention if they are bitten or have had contact with an animal suspected to have rabies. Postexposure prophylaxis, a series of injections, may be recommended to prevent disease. Once symptoms appear, rabies is fatal in humans.

Prior to symptoms appearing, Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite, scratch or lick of a rabid animal. Most animal rabies cases reported to the CCPHSD each year occur in wild animals like foxes and skunks.

People are urged to take the following precautions to protect from 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.

Pet owners should seek medical care from their veterinarian and call the appropriate authorities if their pet is bitten by wildlife. Call Coconino County Public Health Services District Animal Management at (928) 679-8756. In an emergency, call 911.

More information on rabies is available at www.azhealth.gov/rabies.

Information provided by Coconino County Health Services

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