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Another gray fox tests positive for rabies in Cochise County

(Flickr photo)

PHOENIX — Another gray fox in southeastern Arizona has tested positive for rabies, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.

The fox in question was found in the Portal area, a southeastern city just miles from the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Cochise County Sheriff’s Office officials said additional testing on other specimens is scheduled for this week, with testing and results dependent on a non-government shutdown.

Related: Gray fox rabies activity quadrupled in some Arizona counties

County officials also said that an increase of rabies cases is expected due to an increase in wildlife and human interaction that stemmed from the continued drought in Southern Arizona.

Officials are recommending that residents get their animals vaccinated and to not feed wildlife.

In December, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced that rabies activity in the state’s gray fox populations had quadrupled in several counties.

Data showed there are 24 rabid foxes in 2017, compared with six rabid foxes reported statewide in 2016.

Rabid foxes were identified last year in Cochise, Navajo, Pima and Santa Cruz counties and recently in Gila, Maricopa and Pinal counties.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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