EL PASO COUNTY, Colorado (KKTV) – El Paso County Public Health is warning residents of a bat that has tested positive for rabies in Fountain Valley. This is the first discovered in 2022.

Residents must ensure that their pets are vaccinated against rabies and avoid wild animals.

“Rabies tends to be more common during the spring and summer months,” said Dr. Urbina, medical director of the El Paso County Health Authority. “It’s important to know that there are a few simple steps people can take to protect themselves and their pets from rabies. One of the best preventive measures you can take is to make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies.”

The Department of Health suggests the following precautions that can help prevent rabies:

  • Get your pets vaccinated against rabies through a veterinarian. Rabies vaccinations need to be boosted, so check your pet’s records or talk to your veterinarian.
  • When you walk or travel with your dog, protect it and wildlife by keeping your dog on a leash.
  • Keep cats and other pets at home overnight to reduce the risk of contact with other pets and wildlife. Keep pets within sight (in a fenced yard or on a leash) during the day while they are outside.
  • What to do if you or your pet has been scratched or bitten by a wild animal:
  • If you think your pet has been exposed to the virus, contact your El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) veterinarian immediately.
  • If you or a family member has been exposed, contact your doctor and EPCPH immediately.
  • You can report exposure through EPCPH bite reporting portal. You can also contact EPCPH at (719) 578-3220 or (719) 235-2278 outside business hours.
  • Bat bites can be difficult to detect because they may not leave marks. If you find a bat in your home and don’t know how long it has been there, do not release, discard, or kill the bat. Contact EPCPH at (719) 578-3220. This is so that the EPCPH can test the animal for rabies and make treatment recommendations if necessary.
  • Seal the houses to prevent bats and other animals from nesting, and if there are already, use a professional removal service.
  • Contact your animal control or wildlife agency for help in “bat-proofing” your home. Information is also available here
  • Do not touch or feed wild animals. Wild animals such as skunks and foxes adapt to living environments, if food is available, please do not leave pet food outdoors.

If you encounter a lost or stray dog ​​or cat, please contact Pikes Peak Humane Society at (719) 473-1741.

How to recognize sick or diseased wild animals:

  • Healthy wild animals are usually afraid of people. Foxes are active at night, but they can also be seen during the day, especially if they are looking for food for their cubs.
  • Sick or sick animals often do not run away when people notice them.
  • Wild animals suffering from rabies often behave aggressively and violently approach people or pets.
  • However, sometimes rabid animals are overly quiet and passive and want to hide. If they are hiding, leave them alone. Raging wild animals may also stumble or have trouble walking.
  • Report sick animals to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department at (719) 227-5200.

Officials say prevention drugs are available for people who are known or suspected to have been bitten by a rabid animal. When symptoms appear, rabies is fatal.

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