PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Pueblo Public Health Officials are strongly warning individuals to stay away from wildlife and to vaccinate pets for rabies. This comes after a rabid bat bit an adult in the Pueblo area.
An adult in the Regency Park area was bitten by the rabid bat after picking it up with a pair of gloves, according to Pueblo Public Health. That person is now receiving the rabies vaccine to prevent any further illness. Rabies is caused by a virus transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Rabies also can be transmitted if the infected animal’s saliva gets into a cut or break in the skin or through the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Symptoms of rabies can include fever, agitation, abnormal behavior, seizures, and paralysis. There is no treatment for rabies once symptoms begin.
Vicky Carlton with Public Health and Environment said, “It’s 99.9% fatal. There have been a couple of people in the US who have survived the treatment but that is very rare.”
Bats should be tested for rabies if they come into contact with humans or pets, or if one is found in someone's home. A bat’s teeth are very small and sharp, and a bite wound may not be visible. To avoid exposure to rabies, never touch a bat or any other wild animal.
Carlton says that any living mammal can get the virus.
“Been around for a very long time but it’s still around. Other wildlife can get rabies. You can have a skunk, a raccoon, foxes. Last year we even had a bull test positive for rabies so livestock can get it,” Carlton said.
If you are bitten by a bat or any other wild animal, wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water and then contact both your physician and the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.