Rabies Found in Several Local Animal Specimens

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Image of a fox from here.

Press release from Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services:

Two dogs from the Hydesville area were attacked by foxes that subsequently tested positive for rabies. Both dogs have been placed under 30-day, strict isolation quarantines. One of the incidents involved human exposures, with two people now receiving prophylactic treatment.

In addition to these incidents, a bat in the Eureka area has tested positive for rabies, and the remains of a skunk, a second bat and a third Hydesville fox are currently being tested at the Department of Health & Human Services Public Health Laboratory in Eureka.

So far this year, 25 specimens have been tested for rabies.
Public Health officials caution against shooting animals in the head. “Because intact brain tissue is needed for an accurate lab test, shooting an animal in the head can delay and disrupt results,” said Supervising Environmental Health Specialist Amanda Ruddy.

When a test is incomplete or inconclusive, the specimen is treated as if rabid, leading to potentially unnecessary courses of action such as human prophylaxis and animal quarantines.

Experts say rabies is always present in the wildlife population throughout Humboldt County, especially among skunks, bats and foxes.

Preventive measures include avoiding contact with wild and stray animals, bringing pet foods indoors at night, reporting animal bites to your county or municipal animal control officer, and if you are bitten, washing the bite immediately with soap and water and seeking medical attention.

Public Health officials stress the importance of fully vaccinating domestic animals against rabies, including dogs, cats and select livestock.

For questions about rabies or to report a rabid animal, please call the DHHS Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or toll free at 1-800-963-9241.

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6 comments

  • Our local fox species looks like this photo (not mine). We have gray foxes here. There are no red foxes. The one pictured with the article is a red fox. (They have the white tail tip.) There are red foxes in the northern Sacramento Valley, but not native in Humboldt Co.

  • The article says 25 have been tested, it doesn’t say they found rabies in 25 specimens, but the headline does. Which is right?

  • Everyone just needs to be more cautious.weve had these animals around here a long time.with rabies.and without.happy summer

  • Vaccinate BOTH dogs and cats, and keep the record (tags) just in case…
    Side note: If you are bitten, the treatment is much easier than it once was and not nearly as painful. The gamma globulin shot is first, and BIG so ask that it be injected into two sites (both butt cheeks.) The 4 others are spaced 48 hours apart and no big deal. Don’t delay. af

  • The fox population has gone crazy on my hill, see one every couple days now. That and bobcats,bears and mountin lions. Bears especially, seems like we have one in the yard two or three times a month now days. Dogs are earning their kibble;<)

  • Tracker: Red foxes aren’t native here but they do live here. I had several families of them den under my barn in Bayside. Then they left and the grey foxes moved in. I had a creepy neighbor who trapped the adult foxes when they “stole” her goose eggs because their kits were big enough for real food. My neighbor said she “wanted low maintenance livestock” so she couldn’t be bothered putting her geese in at night. Sigh

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