Rabies Cases Increase In Santa Cruz County

April 07, 2014

There’s a rabies warning and quarantine in far southeastern Arizona. The problem does not seem to have extended to areas closer to metro Phoenix.

Authorities in Santa Cruz County have issued the warning because of 23 laboratory-confirmed rabies cases so far this year, all but one of them involving skunks. That compares to 12 rabies cases for all of last year.

The county is reminding dog owners to keep pet vaccinations current and ordering them to keep their pets confined or on a leash at all times.  Authorities say while skunks would normally run away from you or use their scent to drive you away, rabid skunks can be aggressive enough to attack you, even if they’re not provoked.

There have been only a dozen rabies cases in Arizona this year outside Santa Cruz County, with nine of them in Pima County. Maricopa County has had just one case laboratory-confirmed case this year, and it involved a rabid bat.  There were a half-dozen rabies cases in Marciopa County last year, all among bats. Pinal County, which has had no cases this year, had one rabid bat in 2013.