Cochise County sees sharp rise in wildlife with rabies

Posted at 5:49 AM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 08:49:49-04

Officials in Cochise County say they've seen a sharp rise in wildlife with rabies.

The potentially deadly virus can infect any animal and is most commonly transmitted through bites.

Most of the county's 15 cases so far this year have been found in skunks and foxes.

The average number of cases has increased from a handful annually between 2011 and 2015 to around 40 per year since 2016.

County health officials say people should vaccinate their pets and domesticated animals to reduce the risk of infection and report any strange animal behavior. They say pet food also should be kept indoors to avoid attracting other animals.

Santa Cruz and Pima counties also have confirmed several rabies cases this year.