Rabid fox found in Colorado Springs

Chris Loveless, Digital Content Director , c.loveless@krdo.com
POSTED: 12:02 PM MDT Aug 01, 2013    UPDATED: 12:04 PM MDT Aug 01, 2013 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

El Paso County Public Health says a fox found dead near the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has tested positive for rabies.

The fox was found after being hit by a car and later tested for rabies.

Public Health says this is the first terrestrial mammal to test positive for rabies west of I-25 in El Paso County.

“Rabies has been found in animals in rural areas, and now it’s into urban areas,” said Jill Law, R.N., M.H.A., Director of El Paso County Public Health. “Rabies is a fatal disease, so we want to be sure that our community is hearing the message about how important it is to keep pets and livestock rabies vaccination up to date through a licensed veterinarian,” Law said.

Rabies is a viral disease that infects the brain and other parts of the central nervous system, causing brain swelling and damage, and ultimately, death. Rabies is spread primarily through the bite of rabid animals, resulting in the spread of the disease through their infected saliva. Rabies also can be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds, cuts or enters through membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Preventive medication is available for people known or suspected to have been bitten by a rabid animal. But once rabies symptoms appear, the disease is almost always fatal. It is important for people bitten or scratched by a wild animal or an unfamiliar animal to contact their doctor.

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR PETS


Reports of Rabies in El Paso County, Colorado

2013: 1 (1 fox)

2012: 3 (3 bats)

2011: 15 (5 bats, 1 fox, 9 skunks)

2010: 17 (8 bats, 4 foxes, 5 skunks)


HOW TO RECOGNIZE SICK OR DISEASED WILDLIFE