A wild bat found at the Pueblo Zoo on Wednesday in front of Vulture Stork Pen in the southeast corner of the zoo tested positive for rabies. Public health is concerned people may have come in contact with this rabid wild bat.
"Parents who had children in the zoo the morning of Wednesday, May 23, should ask their children if they had any contact with a bat. Anyone who may have handled or touched the bat, or learns their child had contact with the bat, should immediately contact the Health Department to determine whether they should receive preventive therapy for rabies," stated Vicki Carlton program manager at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. During business hours call 719-583-4331 and after hours call 9-1-1.
Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. But, because bat teeth are very small and sharp, a wound from a bat bite may not be visible. Rabies also can be transmitted by a scratch or if the animal's saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin. Just seeing the bat or being in the area, without any physical contact, is not a risk.
Now in Pueblo County rabies has been found in wild skunks, a fox and bat. Pet and livestock owners are highly encouraged to vaccinate their animals against rabies.
To avoid exposure to rabies: · Never touch a wild bat or any other wild animal. A healthy bat likely will not come near enough to be touched, so a bat that is slow, lying on the ground or that lands on a person could be showing signs of illness. If you can touch the animal, chances are it is sick. Children who find a bat should leave it where it is and tell an adult. · Do not pick up a bat with your hands, even if you're wearing gloves. Use a shovel. · If you are bitten by a bat or if you suspect you've been exposed to its saliva, try to contain the bat without touching it, and contact your local animal control agency or health department so the bat can be tested. · Keep your doors and windows covered with intact screens. Do not leave screenless doors or windows open in the evening. · If you have bats in your house, try to find the source of their entry and seal it. Call a local nuisance wildlife trapper who has experience on how to do this. Also, one should check whether there are young bats that do not leave the house at night before sealing the home. · Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies. For more information about where rabies has been found in Pueblo go to http://pueblorabieswatch.blogspot.com