Rabid bat found in northeastern Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A bat found in northeastern Colorado Springs has tested positive for rabies.

El Paso County Public Health said this is the second animal to test positive for rabies in the county this year. In 2014, rabies was found in 10 bats in the county.

Rabies is spread primarily through the bite of rabid animals. It can also be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds or enters the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Preventative medication is available for people who have been bitten by rabid animals. However, the disease is fatal once symptoms appear.

Health officials recommend taking the following 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.
  • If you or a family member is bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal, call your doctor and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (719) 473-1741.
  • Contact an animal-control or wildlife conservation agency for assistance with “bat-proofing” your home.

How to recognize sick or diseased wildlife:

  • Healthy wild animals are normally afraid of humans. Foxes are active at night but can also be seen out during the day, especially if they are looking for food for their pups.
  • Sick or diseased 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.

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