PUEBLO — The Pueblo Health Department is reminding people to vaccinate their pets for rabies after a bat from the Regency Park area in Pueblo tested positive for the virus.
The department said an adult was bitten by the bat and is receiving the rabies vaccine to prevent illness.
According to the Health Department, symptoms of rabies can include fever, agitation, abnormal behavior, seizures, and paralysis. There is no treatment for rabies once symptoms begin and it is fatal.
Bats should be tested for rabies if they come into contact with humans or pets, or if one is found in the home. Bat’s teeth are very small and sharp; a bite wound may not be visible. 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 719-583-4307 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.
For additional information about animals visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site at cdc.gov/rabies [cdc.gov].