COLORADO SPRINGS — El Paso County Public Health is telling residents to be on high alert after they found a rabid bat in the Turkey Creek Canyon/Red Valley Estates neighborhood near Fort Carson.
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 pets within your sight (in a fenced yard, or on a 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.
- If you or a family member is bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal, call your doctor and report to El Paso County Public Health at 719-578-3220 or 719-235-2278 after-hours.
- If you encounter a lost or stray dog or cat, contact the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region at (719) 473-1741.
It is important for people bitten or scratched by a wild animal or an unfamiliar animal to contact their doctor immediately. Rabies is fatal once symptoms appear.
Rabies is a viral disease that infects the brain and other parts of the central nervous system, causing brain swelling and damage, and ultimately, death.
Rabies is spread primarily through the bite of rabid animals, resulting in the spread of the disease through their infected saliva. Rabies also can be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds, cuts, or enters through membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth
For additional information about animals visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site at cdc.gov/rabies [cdc.gov].