PUEBLO — On Friday, public health officials in Pueblo confirmed that a bat tested positive for rabies in Pueblo near 25th Lane and Everett Road.
Pueblo public health officials have warned individuals to stay away from wildlife and to vaccinate their pets for rabies.
“Fortunately, this bat did not come in contact or bite anybody,” stated Vicki Carlton program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carlton added, “this is a reminder that it is important to keep your pets up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations through a licensed veterinarian as rabies is carried by bats, skunks, raccoons, and foxes in Pueblo County.”
In a press release, the health department added that bats should be tested for rabies if they come into contact with humans or pets, or if one is found in the home. They say bat’s teeth are very small and sharp, and that a bite wound may not be visible.
Symptoms of rabies can include fever, agitation, abnormal behavior, seizures, and paralysis. Treatment should begin before the onset of symptoms. Once symptoms begin, treatments are ineffective, and rabies is usually deadly.
If a bat is found, immediately leave the area and take your pets away from the bat. Contact the United States Department of Agriculture (719) 355-9629 for collection and notify the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment at 583-4307 to report the incident.
To avoid exposure to rabies:
- Never touch a bat or any other wild animal.
- If you are bitten by a bat or other wild animal, wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water, and then contact both your physician and the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
- Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies. Keep in mind that vaccines not administered by a licensed veterinarian are not considered valid vaccinations in the State of Colorado, including Pueblo County.
- If your pet has been exposed to wildlife contact your veterinarian and report the incident to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
- Protect your dog from wildlife by walking your dog on a leash.
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