New Mexico Department of Health
Media Contact, Paul Rhien: (505) 470-2290
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 6, 2019
Second Case of Rabies Confirmed in a Fox in San Miguel County
SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (DGF) announced today that a case of rabies was laboratory confirmed on March 1 in a fox that was seen to be acting abnormally in San Miguel County. It had been previously announced that another rabid fox was identified in that county on January 28. Pet and livestock owners should ensure that their dogs, cats, horses and other livestock get vaccinated against rabies. No pet food or garbage should be left outside. Pets should be leashed while being walked outside.
Residents and visitors are reminded to be aware of strangely behaving wild animals. People should avoid any contact with foxes or other wild animals.
Personnel with the NMDOH and DGF are concerned that a second rabid fox in the same general area has been found one month after the first rabid fox was identified, and will partner with local authorities to look for any other potential rabid animals and to protect the public.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that can be prevented but not cured. Any contact with wild animals should be immediately reported to the Department of Health and the Department of Game and Fish.
- The public should call their local Department of Game and Fish office or call radio dispatch at (505) 827-9376 for assistance with wildlife acting oddly, especially foxes, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, and bats.
- The public should immediately call the New Mexico Department of Health at (505) 827-0006 if they or their pets are bitten or otherwise exposed to the saliva of wild animals.
The following guidelines can help protect you and your family from rabies:
- Keep pets on a leash at all times when outdoors. Pets should be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and wearing current license tags on their collar. If your cat or dog has been bitten or scratched, call your pet’s veterinarian, even if the wound is superficial.
- Horses and other livestock should be considered for rabies vaccination to protect them from rabid animals that may attack them.
- Stay away from wild or unfamiliar animals. This includes animals who are acting sick, fearless, aggressive or friendly. Do not attempt to feed, approach, or touch wild animals (alive or dead). Teach this important message to your children.
- If you or a loved-one are bitten by an animal, or come into contact with an animal’s saliva, wash the exposed site immediately with soap and water. Be sure to report the bite immediately to local animal control, seek medical care, and call the New Mexico Department of Health (24/7) at (505) 827-0006 for about receiving rabies exposure protective vaccination.
- If you see a sick or dead wild animal, or a wild animal acting abnormally in this area, report it to New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (505) 476-8000.
For more information about rabies call visit the NMDOH rabies website at https://nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/zdp/rab/.