Colorado

Aug 28, 2014 8:23 PM by Kelsey Kennedy

Pueblo Health Department Concerned about Increase in Rabid Bats

The Pueblo City County Health Department is concerned about an increase in the number of rabid bats. They've confirmed six bats have tested positive for the disease. 22 people have been given the rabies vaccine after contact with a bat suspected to be rabid.

Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods, the Director of Public Health, says rabies is extremely lethal in humans if left untreated.

"It's almost 100 percent fatal, and its a miserable death," she said.

Rabies is contracted through infected saliva or blood. A bat's teeth are so small that a bite can be hard to feel or see. Making them also very dangerous for pets that are not vaccinated.

"It's not curable," says Lt. Lindsey Vigna of Animal Law Enforcement. "But there are a number of measures that an owner can take to protect their animal from potentially having to be euthanized."

Because of the risk that your infected pet could spread the disease to you, it may have to be put down.

"There's a high risk that the animal who had exposure to a rabid bat will develop rabies, and then bite and infect a human," said Dr. Nevin-Woods. "We just can't take a chance with that."

Rabies is contracted through saliva or blood. Dr. Nevin-Woods recommends vaccination even with suspected contact, such as finding a bat in the room when you wake up.

Never touch a bat acting suspicious. Being that bats are nocturnal, seeing one out during the day is suspicious. Moving slow and landing on a person or the ground are also suspicious bat behaviors.

Check the screens in your windows and any other way a bat might make it into your home. If you do come in contact, or think your pet may have, never touch the bat, but it's important to trap it and call animal control so the health department can test it for rabies.

 

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