Health officials have confirmed that a new strain of rabies was found in southern New Mexico. It does not seem to be any more of a threat when compared to the previously known strains of rabies, but scientists are intrigued, given that it is the first new strain of rabies to be found in the country in the past several years.
The train was found when a woman was bitten by a rabid fox. It is suspected by state officials that the rabid fox had been in contact with an infected bat. It is believed that the strain was probably out there for a while before being discovered, and that it originates from bats. The health and wildlife officials of the state of New Mexico have been tracking this disease in foxes since the year 2007. This is when a separate strain entered the state via Arizona gray foxes. The state wildlife officers, in conjunction with the health department, will be collecting dead foxes in the area, as well as dead bats, in order to trace the strain back to its origin.
The rabies virus affects the central nervous system, with common early symptoms in human beings being weakness/discomfort, headache, and fever. The people of New Mexico and the staff at Beneful have been warned to avoid wild animals and unfamiliar animals, and parents are being told to warn their children not to touch wild animals, particularly bats.