A resident in the Manila area was bitten by a fox over the weekend, almost a month after a similar incident in the same area involving a fox that later tested positive for rabies.
The fox in the most recent incident has not been caught and its rabies status cannot be confirmed.
The bite victim is currently undergoing treatment for possible rabies exposure.
Since this report, Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Division of Environmental Heath (DEH) has received several additional reports of foxes acting aggressively in the area by the north end of the Ma-l’el Dunes.
Local health officials are urging caution to people in the area between Manila and Mad River Beach. Anyone who sees an animal acting strangely should contact DEH which is monitoring reports in that area.
Benjamin Dolf, DEH Supervising Environmental Health Specialist, said generally it is important to use caution around wild animals, and if you encounter an animal that is sick, injured or docile do not try to approach it, help it or try to nurse it back to health.
Rabies is always present in the wildlife population throughout Humboldt County, especially foxes, skunks and bats. People who come across sick or injured animals can contact the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center which has staff who are trained to respond.
Preventive measures against the spread of rabies in Humboldt County include avoiding contact with wild and stray animals, bringing pet food indoors at night and reporting animal bites to your county or municipal animal control officer.
If you are bitten, wash the bite(s) immediately with soap and water and go to the emergency department to seek medical treatment. It is critical that anyone potentially exposed to rabies be treated within 24 hours, and sooner is better.
Public Health officials stress the importance of fully vaccinating domestic animals against rabies, including dogs, cats and select livestock. For questions about rabies or to report a rabid or suspected rabid animal, call DEH at 707-445-6215 or toll free at 1-800-963-9241. To report a sick or injured animal, contact the Humboldt Wildlife Care Center at 707-822-8839.