A bat in Fremont County has tested positive for rabies.
The Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment was notified of the animal last week. It was dropped off at the Humane Society and tested on Friday. The test results came back positive on Wednesday of the following week.
The department does not believe that there was any contact with humans or animals.
The incident serves as a reminder that rabies is fatal in humans if exposed by a bite or scratch from a rabid animal, and not treated. The rabies can spread from an infected animal to a person or pet by a bite or scratch, even if very small or barely noticeable. It can also be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds, cuts or enters through membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.
For general questions about rabies, call COHELP at 1-877-462-2911, available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Take these precautions to prevent rabies:
- Vaccinate your pets against rabies by using a licensed veterinarian. Rabies shots need to be boosted, so check your pet’s records or talk to your veterinarian.
- When walking or hiking with your dog, protect them and wildlife by keeping your dog on a leash.
- Keep cats and other pets inside at night to reduce the risk of exposure to other domestic animals and wildlife. Keep dogs within your sight (in a fenced yard, or on leash) during the day while outside.
- Contact your veterinarian promptly if you believe your pet has been exposed to a wild animal.
- Do not touch or feed wild animals. Wild animals like skunks and foxes adapt to residential environments if food is available – please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
- Contact an animal-control specialist for assistance with "bat-proofing" your home. Information is also available at www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/management.
How to recognize sick wildlife:
- Healthy wild animals are normally afraid of humans.Sick animals often do not run away when spotted by people.
- Wildlife suffering from rabies will often act aggressively and violently approach people or pets.
- However, sometimes rabid animals are overly quiet and passive and want to hide. If they are hiding, leave them alone. Rabid wildlife might also stumble or have trouble walking.
- Report sick or diseased animals to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife at (719) 227-5200.