LAS VEGAS—Seven positive cases of rabies have been identified in bats in Clark and Washoe counties recently, according to scientists at the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s (NDA) Animal Disease Laboratory.
NDA said rabies in bats is common, and the state is currently in the middle of peak bat season, which is generally from May through October in Nevada.
Lab staff is advising the public to report any bats, dead or alive, that may have come into contact with people or domestic animals, to the Animal Disease Lab immediately.
“Always avoid direct contact with bats and don’t allow children or domestic animals to come in contact with bats,” said Laura Morrow, NDA Animal Disease Lab supervisor. “If contact is made with any bats, contact your local healthcare or veterinary provider immediately.”
According to a statement from NDA, the Animal Disease Lab confirms between 10 and 20 cases of bat rabies each year, and so far this year has tested 179 bats.
“Rabies is a fatal, but preventable disease,” said NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell. “It is important for all animal owners to work with their local veterinarians to keep animals up to date on vaccinations, which can help protect both the animals and their owners.”
Nevada Department of Wildlife provides information on Nevada bats here: http://www.ndow.org/uploadedFiles/ndoworg/Content/Nevada_Wildlife/Animals/Concerns/bat_brochure.pdf