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Bat in northern Colorado park tests positive for rabies

Public health officials recommend that these precautions be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies.

LONGMONT, Colo. — A bat found in Longmont has tested positive for rabies.

The bat was found at the southeast corner of Thompson Park in Longmont, near Fourth Avenue and Pratt Street, on Saturday, June 11, said Boulder County Public Health (BCPH).

Residents in the area were concerned that their pet may have come into contact with the bat and alerted the City of Longmont, who then collected and submitted the animal to for rabies testing.

"Temperatures are getting warmer, which means more people and pets are outdoors when bats are highly active. Take extra care, don’t interact with animals and make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date," said Carol McInnes, BCPH Environmental Health Specialist. "If there’s any chance that you, your child or your pet has come in contact with a bat, contact us as soon as possible by calling 303-441-1564."

BCPH said rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system and is almost always fatal unless it is treated before any symptoms appear.

Exposure to rabies is generally the result of a bite or scratch by an infected animal, and it is sometimes practically undetectable, such as a tiny puncture of the skin by a bat.

Bats and skunks are the most common animal sources of rabies in Colorado. Other wild animals that may carry rabies include raccoons and foxes.

Public health tips to reduce chances of exposure to rabies:

  • Do not handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. Contact animal control to collect the animal.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Teach children to observe wildlife from a distance and to notify an adult if there is a wild animal in the area or if they are bitten or scratched.
  • Eliminate food sources for wild animals by not feeding pets outdoors, closing pet doors (especially at night), and tightly closing garbage cans and feed bins.
  • Ensure that your pets, horses and livestock are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.
  • Maintain control of pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.
  • Thoroughly wash any wound caused by an animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.

For more information about rabies, visit BoulderCountyVector.org or call 303-441-1564.  

RELATED: Skunk tests positive for rabies after acting erratically in Boulder

RELATED: After 5 rabies deaths in 2021, CDC says some of those lives could've been saved

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