PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) confirmed a bat tested positive for rabies near 25th Lane and Everett Road.

Pueblo public health officials 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 PDPHE. 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.”

Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. It can also be transmitted if the infected animal’s saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin, through the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Symptoms of rabies can include fever, agitation, abnormal behavior, seizures, and paralysis. Treatment should begin before onset of symptoms. Once symptoms begin, treatments are ineffective, and rabies is usually fatal, according to PDPHE.

Bats should be tested for rabies if they come into contact with humans or pets, or if one is found in the home. PDPHE says bat teeth are small and sharp and a bite wound may not be visible. If a bat is found, PDPHE advises the public to immediately leave the area and keep pets safe.

Contact the United States Department of Agriculture (719) 355-9629 for collection and notify the PDPHE at (719) 583-4307 to report the incident.

“Never touch or handle a bat or wild animal,” stated Carlton.

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.