Rabies Quarantine Remains In Effect

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Gila County's rabies quarantine, which was enacted Oct. 6 after a 10-year-old Christopher Creek boy was attacked and bitten by a rabid fox, will remain in effect until Nov. 5, and possibly longer.


The quarantine extends to the north and west boundaries of the county, and from the northeast corner along Tonto Creek to Gisela, south of Payson.


"If we find anything else," said veterinarian Mira Leslie of the Arizona Department of Health Services, "we'll extend (the deadline)."


The boy who was attacked, and his father, who was exposed to the virus while rescuing his son, were treated with a rabies vaccine. To date, four rabid foxes have been found in northern Gila County.


"We have never had (rabid foxes) in Christopher Creek or Pine," she said. "And now, for the first time ever, on Friday, we got the first rabid fox in Navajo County.


"The potential for transmitting rabies to deer, bobcats and other mammals is very high," Leslie said. "And hunters should be very careful."


Hunters should leave their dogs at home, she said.


Leslie warns people not to touch, feed or pick up wild animals, alive or dead, especially foxes, skunks and bats.


She encourages ranchers and pet owners to vaccinate their animals against rabies. Animal control laws, such as keeping animals on leashes and having up-to-date rabies vaccinations, are being strictly enforced.


"The Game and Fish Department and animal control officers are working very hard," she said.

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