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Douglas County bats test positive for rabies

Nevada Appeal Report
Rabies has been discovered in Douglas County bats.
Tribune file

Carson City Health and Human Services is reporting that there have been two bats that have tested positive for rabies in Douglas County within the last two weeks.

There was both animal and human exposure to these bats.

Rabies is a viral illness that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and can be fatal in both humans and animals.  People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies. It is also possible for people to get rabies when infected saliva or tissue containing rabies gets into a fresh wound (one that has bled within 24 hours), the eyes, nose or mouth.

Most animals, including household pets, can become exposed to the virus by playing with sick bats that are unable to fly.

In Nevada, bat activity tends to increase between May and October. Healthy bats are nocturnal, which means they are active mainly at night. Signs of rabies in bats include being active during the day, being found in a place where bats are usually not seen, and are unable to fly. If a bat is exhibiting any of those signs, it is best to avoid the animal to prevent a possible exposure to rabies.

If you think you have been bitten by a bat, wash the wound with soap and water for five minutes and seek medical attention immediately. If you think your pet or domestic animal has been bitten by a bat, contact your local Animal Services immediately.

Carson City Health and Human Services urges the public to take the following precautions to protect themselves from rabies:

•   Maintain current rabies vaccinations on all dogs and cats three (3) months of age and older.

• Confine all pets or keep them on a leash.

• All persons, especially children, are warned to avoid all sick or injured animals.

• All stray or wild animals should be avoided, particularly skunks and bats observed during the day.

• Report animal bat bites or any physical contact with bats (with or without a bite) to your Animal Services Department.

• Report human bat bites and physical contact with bats (with or without a bite) to Carson City Health and Human Services at (775) 887-2190.

For information on rabies visit https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html.


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