PORTAL, Ariz. — Cochise County Sheriff’s officials say another gray fox in the Portal area has tested positive for rabies.

They say additional testing is scheduled on other specimens this week.

County officials say that due to the continued drought in Southern Arizona, an increase of rabies cases is expected.

In December, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced that rabies activity in the state’s gray fox populations had quadrupled in several counties.

Data shows there are 24 rabid foxes in 2017, compared with six rabid foxes reported statewide in 2016.

Rabid foxes were identified last year in Cochise, Navajo, Pima and Santa Cruz counties and recently in Gila, Maricopa and Pinal counties.

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