Mesa County Bats Test Positive For Rabies
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The Mesa County Health Department announced Wednesday that three bats had tested positive for rabies, which can be a deadly disease.
Two species of bats tested positive, including one hoary bat and two Brazilian free-tail bats.
Health officials are advising resident not to handle wild animals because the sick and injured ones have a tendency to bite, and rabies is spread through saliva.
Symptoms of the disease in animals include abnormal behavior, tendency to approach humans or difficulty walking.
Local experts say contracting the disease can be easier than you may think.
"If a cat finds a sick bat flopping around the backyard and the cat plays with the bat, it may have been exposed. At that point, the health department gets involved, and if that cat is not protected against rabies, the cat might be quarantined," said veterinarian Bruce Kronkright.
Raccoons, foxes and skunks can also carry the fatal disease, but Kronkright says bats are one of the primary carriers.
Kronkright says the best prevention method is to have cats and dogs vaccinated, which is also a requirement by Mesa County.