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Bat tests positive for rabies in Lakewood

Bat tests positive for rabies in Lakewood
Bat tests positive for rabies in Lakewood

 


Denver (South Korea) — A bat in Lakewood has tested positive for rabies, Jefferson County Public Health announced Friday.

The rabid bat was found near the Kendrick Lake area.

This is the first animal case of rabies found in Jefferson County this year, but not the first in the metro area: A rabid bat was found in Englewood near Quincy Avenue and Santa Fe Drive in late May.

Last year, Jefferson County had eight confirmed cases of rabies in animals, including five skunks and three bats. Significantly lower than in previous years In 2018, Jefferson County reported 26 animal rabies cases, including 18 skunks and eight bats.

What danger do rabies-infected animals pose to society?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rabies is caused by a potentially deadly virus It can be transmitted to humans and animals if medical care is not sought before symptoms appear.

Rabies can be transmitted to people, livestock, and animals, including pets, through the saliva of a rabid animal. According to the CDC, rabies is primarily spread to people and pets through bites or scratches from an infected animal.

“It is important that you take steps to protect yourself, your loved ones and your pets from rabies,” Jefferson County Public Health said in a release.

What to do if you encounter a wild or stray animal

The county urges anyone who has had direct contact with a wild or stray animal to contact their health care provider. Local Animal Control Agency Contact us right away so you can get the necessary preventative treatment if needed.

“One of the most important things we can do to prevent the spread of disease is to avoid contact with wild animals and keep our distance. If you are bitten by a stray or wild animal, it's better to be safe than sorry – contact your medical provider or local animal control immediately,” said Rachel Reichardt, Environmental Health Specialist with Jefferson County Public Health.

Here are some steps Jefferson County Public Health recommends to protect yourself from rabies:

  • Keep pets and livestock up to date on rabies vaccinations.
  • Avoid contact with wild animals, especially those exhibiting abnormal behavior.
  • Teach children to stay away from wild animals, stray pets, and dead animals, and to tell an adult if they are scratched or bitten.
  • Keep your pets close by so you can keep an eye on them while they are outside.
  • If you come into contact with a wild animal or are bitten by a stray pet, seek medical attention immediately and contact your local animal control agency.

Additionally, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommends the following tips:

  • Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, and be wary of stray dogs and cats – rabid animals do not necessarily appear aggressive.
  • Teach your children to stay away from wild animals and to tell you if they are bitten or scratched by an animal.
  • Have your veterinarian (or local animal shelter) vaccinate your pets and livestock against rabies. Keep vaccinations up to date.
  • Keep trash cans and food boxes tightly closed. Open trash cans and food bags can attract wild and stray animals into your home or yard.
  • Feed your pets indoors. Don't leave pet food outside as it will attract wildlife.
  • Outdoor pets must be kept in a fenced yard.
  • Avoid contact with bats, especially bats on the ground. If you find a bat on the ground, do not handle it. Report the bat and its location to your local animal control officer or health department.
  • If you are bitten by an animal, contact a doctor immediately. Local Health Department To report an incident.

If you are concerned about an animal, Jefferson County encourages you to contact your local animal control agency. You can contact Jefferson County Animal Control at 303-271-5070 or Jefferson County Public Health at 303-232-6301.

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