New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Rabid Fox from Lincoln County Has New Rabies Strain

May 19, 2015 - Zoonotic Diseases - Disease

A fox that attacked a 78-year-old woman in Lincoln County on April 20 tested positive for rabies and officials are warning the public to stay away from wildlife that is dead, injured or acting abnormally.The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced today that a rabid fox from Lincoln County that bit a woman on April 20 had a strain of rabies that has never before been identified. The genetic sequencing of the virus was done in the Rabies Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. The woman received a series of rabies vaccinations that has prevented her from developing rabies, which is usually fatal.

The “Fox Involved in Attack Tests Positive for Rabies” press release went out after initial testing on the fox at the NMDOH’s rabies laboratory was positive.

“We are working with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) and the CDC to increase surveillance in Lincoln County,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “We’ll be collecting dead foxes and bats found on the ground in Lincoln County and testing them for rabies. This new strain is related to other rabies strains found in bats.”

Children should be reminded that they should never touch a bat or other wild animal and that they should always report any contact with bats to their parents immediately. Rabies is fatal in humans but if you have been exposed to a rabid animal, it can be prevented with immediate treatment.

The following guidelines can help protect you and your family from rabies:

If you are bitten or scratched by a wild animal or a pet, the Department of Health recommends the following guidelines:

For more information about rabies visit the Rabies section of our website.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

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Zorro Rabioso del Condado de Lincoln Contiene una Nueva Cepa de Rabia