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Azalea fox tests positive for rabies

December 12, 2014

ROSEBURG, Ore.—A gray fox involved in a Dec. 11 biting incident in the Alazlea-Glen Road area (Douglas County) has tested positive for rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that attacks an infected animal’s nervous system. Rabies symptoms in wildlife, particularly foxes and raccoons, include lethargy, walking in circles, loss of muscular coordination, convulsions, irritability or aggressiveness, disorientation, excessive drooling of saliva, and showing no fear of humans.

Rabies can be transmitted from infected wild mammals (bats, fox, coyotes, skunks, or raccoons) to unvaccinated pets and livestock, or to humans. The virus is present in the saliva of infected animals and is often transmitted through the bite or other contact with a rabid animal.

If you see any wild animals exhibiting strange behavior, call the ODFW Wildlife Health Lab toll-free at 866-968-2600 to report the animal to one of ODFW’s veterinary staff. (Or call your local ODFW district office during regular business hours.) If you see pets or stray cats or dogs acting strangely, contact Douglas County Animal Control at 541-440-4471.

People in the area should take extra caution not to approach wildlife or stray pets. If bitten or scratched by a wild animal or a stray, immediately wash the area with soap and water for at least five minutes and seek medical attention. The incident should be reported to your local health department or the Douglas County Environmental Health Program at 541-440-3574.

ODFW also reminds people in the area to not feed wildlife, to keep garbage in secure containers and to feed pets indoors. Wildlife can be excluded from living areas by sealing openings in attics, basements, porches, sheds, barns and screen chimneys that might provide access to bats and other wildlife.

Trapping seasons are also currently open for gray fox and other furbearers. Trappers in the area should take extra caution when checking traps.


Michelle Dennehy
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
(503) 931-2748

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