NV Department of Agriculture warns of rabies in bats

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:26 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Nevada Department of Agriculture has confirmed Nevada’s first 2023 rabies case of a bat. It was reported in Clark County.

“As it gets warmer, we start to see more activity with rabies,” said Laura Morrow, NDA Animal Disease Lab Supervisor. “We’re concerned about it this time of year, it always increases and we’re all spending more time outside”

According to the Washoe County Health District, most cases of rabies found in Nevada animals are found in bats, but the ones to be concerned about aren’t like the bats you see flying around at night.

“You’d be looking for some abnormalities like a bat in the daytime,” said Morrow. “Or a bat not with its colony, or not circling around on the ground flapping its wings or acting sickly or aggressive.”

Health officials say, just to be safe, stay away from contact with all bats. If you do have to deal with any bats, they recommend calling Animal Control.

“They can help with resources to possibly pick up the bat or give you more guidance,” said Morrow.

If you do come into contact with one, contact a doctor right away.

“You should immediately seek care from a medical provider. If your animal has been in contact with a bat, you really need to make sure that that animal seeks help through veterinary care.”

Also, be sure your pet has been vaccinated.

“In the State of Nevada, Rabies vaccination is required for dogs, cats, and ferrets. This is to protect the animal and to protect your family and you. So, it’s very important we do that. Animals can be in contact with wildlife. You never know what your animals will be in touch with while they’re outside.”

You can find more information here.