UPDATE: Fox that bit a Vail woman tests positive for rabies

Fox (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
Fox (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department)
Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 1:44 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2018 at 8:55 PM MST
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VAIL, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona Game and Fish officials are reporting that the gray fox that bit a woman on Jan. 10 has tested positive for rabies, according to lab results.

A second fox recovered in the Jan.8 incident in Dudleyville, north of Tucson also tested positive.

Officials are also testing for rabies, a fox that was found dead of an unknown cause in Marana on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

The public should call 623-236-7201 as soon as they witness strange wildlife behavior, and avoid contact.

A woman was bitten by a rabid fox in the Vail area on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

According to a news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the woman was walking on a path along the Pantano Wash in Rancho Del Lago at about 11:30 a.m. when the fox attacked her.

She was apparently bitten on her calf as she tried to kick the fox away. She is being treated for possible exposure to rabies.

The fox was found dead after apparently drowning in a golf course pond after the attack. Its body was submitted for rabies testing.

The fox had been reported earlier in the day and was acting erratically.

Foxes are among the principal rabies hosts in Arizona along with bats and skunks, though other animals can get rabies, too. Rabid animals may appear disoriented or intoxicated, salivate heavily or appear thirsty.

Game and Fish Regional Supervisor says people should never approach wildlife that is behaving abnormally.

"Avoid contact with and don't approach wildlife that is behaving abnormally or appears to be ill," Vega said in the release. "If you believe that you see a rabid animal, call us at 1-623-236-7201 or the Pima County Health Department at 520-724-7797 immediately. In addition, avoid touching any dead wildlife that you may find, and keep your pets away from them as well."

Animal owners should consult a veterinarian if their animal is injured by wildlife.

Prevention information can be found available at: http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/rabies/#prevention

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