Rabies confirmed in Mesa County bats

There’s nothing like rabid bats to get you into the Halloween spirit. Unfortunately, that threat is all too real in Mesa County.

The Mesa County Health Department has confirmed three bats have tested positive for rabies in the last week.

Health officials urge people to never handle or touch wild animals. They say if a bat or other animal allows a person to approach it, it is probably injured or ill and will lash out in self-defense.

The rabies virus is spread by the infected animal’s saliva and affects the nervous system. It is fatal if not treated.

If you are bitten, immediately call Mesa County Animal Services and go see a doctor.

Health officials also want to remind pet parents to get their pets’ rabies vaccinations up-to-date and keep them away from wild animals.

Rabies is most likely to be found in bats. Colorado cases of the virus in cats, foxes, skunks and cattle over the last 20 years have typically been due to bat exposure.

Know more about the signs of the virus in animals: rabid animals will have difficulty walking or moving and may approach humans or other animals. Some may become very aggressive, while others will become lethargic.

Another warning sign is if you see any nocturnal animals being active during the day.

Call Mesa County Animals Services (970-242-4646) or the Mesa County Health Department (970-254-4120) if you have questions.

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