Wild fox tests positive for rabies

Mendocino County Health and Human Services has released a statement on a positive rabies test in a wild fox.

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The following is a press release from Mendocino County Health and Human Services:

Wild Fox Tests Positive for Rabies

On November 30, a south coast resident was bitten by a wild fox. On December 6, laboratory results verified that the fox was infected with the rabies virus. The bite victim is receiving post-exposure vaccinations. In late October, another fox in the Sea Ranch area of Sonoma County also tested positive for rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease can be spread from the bite of a rabid animal or from contact with animal’s saliva. Only prompt post-exposure vaccination can prevent the disease. Without treatment, the disease is fatal.

“If you encounter a wild animal, do not touch it. If you are bitten by a wild animal, please seek immediate medical attention,” states Dr. Constance Caldwell, the Mendocino County Deputy Health Officer. ”Please contact your veterinarian to make sure your pets are properly vaccinated.”

Rabies can occur throughout California. Animals most commonly infected include bats, skunks, foxes, raccoons, and bobcats. Behavioral signs of rabid animals, wild or domestic, may include staggering, restlessness, aggression, a change of the tone of their barks or growls, or choking.

If you or a loved one are bitten or scratched by an unfamiliar animal or an animal suspected of having rabies, immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and then seek medical attention.

If you see a domestic animal that is sick, injured, dead, orphaned or behaving oddly, leave it alone and contact Mendocino County Animal Control at (707) 463-4086. If you see a wild animal that is sick, injured, dead, orphaned or behaving oddly, leave it alone and contact Fish and Wildlife CalTIP at (888) 334-2258. Do NOT handle the animal yourself.

 For additional information on rabies, please visit: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Pages/rabies.aspx

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