Jackson County, Ore. – Officials are urging local residents to take precautions after a rabid fox was found near the rural community of Trail last week.
Jackson County Public Health said the fox was found on a family’s property on September 30. The residents heard noised the previous night, and they suspect it may have been alive and had contact with their pet cat. The cat was placed under home quarantine.
Rabies is transmitted from infected animals to humans, officials said. The viral disease is invariably fatal once symptoms appear. Exposure usually occurs through bites when saliva of the infected animal comes into contact with broken skin.
The main protection against the disease is to keep pets vaccinated and to avoid contact with stray animals and wildlife. Dogs or cats that have contact with a rabid animal are required to be quarantined for six months or to be euthanized.
If you find any animals that appear to be acting strangely, take children and pets indoors. Anyone with concerns or questions can call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 541-826-8774.
More information about rabies can be found here: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/RABIES/Pages/rabies.aspx