Skip to comments.Monsoon brings rabies threat. Three animals with virus recovered in county this year
Posted on 07/27/2014 8:47:38 AM PDT by SandRat
SIERRA VISTA While rabies is a virus that affects wild animals year-round, animal and human interactions tend to rise during the monsoon, leading local health and safety officials to remind residents of the proper steps to take to prevent possible exposure to the virus.
Confirmed cases of human infection with rabies are very rare in Cochise County, with no such cases on record dating back several years, said Brian Oertel, communicable disease surveillance specialist for the Cochise County Health and Human Services.
There have been instances in which people who have been bitten by animals suspected of being rabid have been treated for rabies as a precaution, but the suspect animal was later proven not to harbor the virus or the animal was not caught, or otherwise could not be tested, to verify that it was a carrier.
So far this year, three animals in Cochise County were confirmed to have rabies, including two skunks and one bat, the Arizona Department of Health Services reports.
These animals were recovered from unrelated geographical areas within the county, Oertel said, and the volume of cases is on par with the typical number seen in recent years.
A larger number of confirmed animal carriers in neighboring Santa Cruz County 32, the highest in the state prompted the Cochise County Sheriffs Office to issue a reminder to residents to be cautious.
Its a concern if that migrates toward Cochise County, we want to make sure that people are aware of that, said Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the sheriffs office.
Health and safety officials said the best steps residents can take are to ensure their pets are vaccinated, and not to approach a wild animal, particularly if it is exhibiting unusual or aggressive behavior.
Bats, in particular, are the most common carriers of rabies in the county, Oertel said.
Use common sense caution with any wildlife interaction, he said. If you see a downed bat, dont touch it.
Residents can contact their local animal control office should they come across a wild animal they suspect is infected with rabies.
Recovered? That makes it sound like they were cured from rabies. Captured would be a far better word.
It's like the reason I heard that "replace" is never used in a military maintenance manual because it isn't clear whether it means reinstall the old part or get a new part to install.