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Rabies detected in two Nevada bats

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Bat generic(Andy Morffew / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 9:22 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Nevada Department of Agriculture Animal Disease Laboratory announced it had confirmed two cases of rabies in bats in the state: one in Clark County, and one in Douglas County.

The NDA said they usually confirm between 10 and 20 cases of bat rabies each year. NDA said bats are the most common source of transmission to humans and domestic animals.

The NDA urges keeping pets vaccinated against rabies to prevent transmission.

“Animals carrying rabies can only be confirmed through laboratory testing,” NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell said. “It is important for all animal owners to be proactive and work with their veterinarians to keep animals up to date on vaccinations, to protect both the animals and their owners. Even if animals are indoor-only pets, they should still be vaccinated as it’s possible for bats to enter and exit residences unnoticed.”

In Nevada, current rabies vaccination is required by law for dogs, cats and ferrets. Animal owners are asked to work with their veterinarian for vaccination information.

If you come into contact with a bat, dead or alive, it should be reported to your local animal control agency. NDA said it is important to report the contact before picking up a bat. If someone is asked to pick up a bat for testing, they should carefully follow instructions provided by the NDA or animal control agency, including wearing heavy gloves to avoid potential bites.

More information about rabies and the proper steps to take in the case of a possible exposure on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov/rabies, or through the Southern Nevada Health District.