Douglas County people being treated after exposure to rabid bats

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 3:59 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) -Two bats have tested positive for rabies in Douglas County in the last two weeks, Carson City Health and Human Services reported Thursday.

People who encountered an animal that had contact with a rabid bat in Douglas County are getting immunoglobulin treatment for rabies, the health department said.

There was also animal exposure to a rabid bat.

Rabies is a viral illness that affects the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal in both humans and animals, CCHHS said.  People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies and can also get rabies when infected saliva or tissue containing rabies gets into a fresh wound, meaning 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 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 bats that cannot fly. If a bat is exhibiting any of those signs, it is best to avoid the animal to prevent possible exposure to rabies.

If you think you have been bitten by a bat, wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes and seek medical attention immediately. If you think your pet or domestic animal has been bitten by a bat, contact animal services immediately, CCHHS said.

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 3 months old 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.

More information on rabies:

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