On Friday, public health officials in Pinal and Maricopa counties announced that the Arizona Department of Health Services laboratory has confirmed at least two cases.
Rabies is an acute virus disease of the nervous system that is usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Symptoms include increased salivation, foaming at the mouth and erratic, abnormal behavior. If left untreated, rabies will eventually result in paralysis and death.
The two confirmed cases are from an area that includes Lost Dutchman State Park, the First Water Trail and the Tonto National Forest. The Superstition Mountains Wilderness Area is a popular hiking and camping destination in the valley, and residents and visitors should be aware when bringing their pets along for a hike.
It’s important to make sure all pets are properly vaccinated against rabies, and they should be kept on a leash and not allowed to roam free.
Signs reminding hikers and campers of rabies have been posted at trailheads and campgrounds in the area in order to ensure visitors are aware of and attentive to the issue.
Several reports from hikers in the area indicate that infected animals have been infected with the disease.
For more information on rabies and protecting your pets, please visit www.cdc.gov/rabies.