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Kitten tests positive for rabies in Cochise County

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 20:48:11-04

A kitten has tested positive for rabies in Cochise County after coming into contact with a skunk. The last time a cat tested for rabies in Cochise County was in 1987 out of Tombstone, according to a news release. 

Several months ago the Cochise County Sheriff's Office received a call regarding a skunk on a property off of San Mateo south of Sierra Vista. 

A USDA agent responded and was able to locate the skunk which tested positive for the rabies virus. 

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Officers and the USDA agent returned to the area and trapped several cats and a kitten. All were feral and were staying around the same area off of San Mateo.

Authorities say the cats were tested for the rabies virus because of the proximity of the rabid skunk. The kitten tested positive for the virus. 

The resident at the address had contact with the kitten on multiple occasions and will be undergoing rabies vaccinations. 

Authorities say the Arizona Department of Health Services advised that the last cat that was positive for Arizona was in 2009, out of Tumacacori, Santa Cruz County. The animal was associated with a large skunk epizootic (increase of rabies activity) during 2009-2010. 

The second to last cat to test positive for rabies in Cochise County was in 1957 out of Willcox. The previous rabies cases in Cochise County were not associated with any epizootics. 

CCSO will be trapping cats in the area immediately around San Mateo and surrounding areas.

The Sheriff's Office encourages citizens to keep all of your animals vaccinated against rabies.