For the third time this fall a grey fox with rabies was discovered in Plumas County — this time near a home just north of Quincy. It had died of its infection and had no known close contact with humans.
Earlier this fall, two rabid foxes were found near Blairsden; one had bitten a young child.
Plumas County Public Health wants to again remind residents that rabies is present in many species of local wildlife. Although potentially fatal to humans, rabies is 100 percent preventable if people avoid contact with wild animals and seek immediate medical care if they are bitten by any animal.
Rabies is transmitted by the saliva or blood from the rabid animal’s bite. It can be prevented in pets by keeping their rabies immunization up to date. In humans, prevention requires prompt medical attention and immune prophylaxis if there has been a possible exposure.
Public Health Officials advise residents to take the following measures to protect themselves and their pets from rabies.
- Avoid contact with wild animals, especially those at high risk of carrying rabies like foxes, skunks, bats, coyotes, and racoons. Rabid animals may appear aggressive or docile or injured. Do not approach any wild animal or attempt to feed or capture it.
- The bite of a rabid bat can go unnoticed if a person is sleeping and it may not leave a mark on the skin. Anyone who has slept in a room where bats are found to be roosting needs to be promptly immunized against rabies.
- If bitten by any animal, wild or domestic, the injury needs to be promptly evaluated by a physician who can provide medical treatment and determine whether protective rabies immunization is necessary.
- See your veterinarian to update your pet’s rabies vaccination. Prevention is key.
- Discourage wildlife from coming around your home by not leaving uneaten pet food out and by keeping garbage bins covered and secure.
- If you observe wild or stray animals that are behaving unusually, contact Plumas County Sheriff’s Office at 530-283-6300. They will dispatch the appropriate agency to deal with the problem.For further information contact:
Plumas County Environmental Health Department (530) 283-6355