PUEBLO, Colo. — A bat tested positive for rabies after biting a person in the Regency Park area of Pueblo, according to the county health department.
The health department said the person, an adult, is receiving a rabies vaccine to prevent illness.
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. In Pueblo County, call 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 local health department.
- 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 Colorado, including Pueblo County.
- If your pet has been exposed to wildlife, contact your veterinarian and report the incident to the local health department.
- Protect your dog from wildlife by walking your dog on a leash.