April 30, 2021 -Pueblo, CO — Pueblo public health officials warn individuals to stay away from wildlife and to vaccinate your pets for rabies. The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed a bat tested positive for rabies in Pueblo from the Regency Park area in the city of Pueblo.
“Unfortunately, an adult was bitten by the rabid bat and is receiving rabies vaccine to prevent illness,” stated Vicki Carlton program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Carlton added, “Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Rabies also can be transmitted if the infected animal’s saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin or through the eyes, nose, or mouth.”
Symptoms of rabies can include fever, agitation, abnormal behavior, seizures, and paralysis. There is no treatment for rabies once symptoms begin; rabies 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 583-4307 to report the incident.
“Never touch or handle a bat or wild animal,” stated Carlton. Carlton added, “Protect your pets by vaccinating them against rabies through a licensed veterinarian. Rabies vaccinations must be given regularly so check your pet’s records or talk to your veterinarian,” Carlton stated.
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.
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