Bats, as well as other animals like foxes and skunks, have been spreading rabies in the Superstition Mountains area, authorities say.
Authorities have confirmed two new cases of rabid animals in the Superstition Mountains, which are east of the Phoenix metro area. Pinal County health officials are concerned about the discovery as the Superstition Mountains Wilderness Area is frequented by hikers, putting humans at risk of coming down with rabies, and they are posting signs warning visitors about the epidemic.
In addition to the confirmed cases, authorities have reported dead animals and aggressive animals on the trails that indicates the problem is widespread in the area. Authorities confirmed rabies in two foxes and one bat that were captured, and there ahve been a total of 134 confirmed reports of rabid animals so far in 2017 in the state of Arizona.
Bats appear to be the most common animal to have rabies, followed by skunks and foxes. Park officials warn hikers that if they do bring pets with them, they should be vaccinated and should not roam free. Rabies attacks the nervous system and inflames the brain and spinal cord.