Bat tests positive for rabies in SLV

SAGUACHE COUNTY – A bat in Saguache County tested positive for rabies this week. Fortunately, the individual who found the bat was able to contact local public health and have the animal tested before any persons or pets were exposed to the deadly virus.   

“We want to remind the public to protect themselves and their animals. It is important to report animals that may have been exposed to a rabid animal or that may be showing signs of rabies, such as unusual behavior,” said SLV Regional Epidemiologist Ginger Stringer.

Bats and skunks are the most common species carrying the rabies virus in Colorado.  Rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and can be passed to humans and other mammals.  It infects the nervous system and can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis, loss of consciousness and death. 

Fortunately, rabies is preventable. Have your pets vaccinated for rabies, and if your pet comes in contact with a bat or a skunk, notify a veterinarian and/or public health department right away. Also remember not to feed, touch or adopt wild animals and be cautious around stray cats and dogs. Rabid animals do not always appear vicious. If you notice a wild animal exhibiting strange behavior, call your local animal control or law enforcement agency and do not touch the animal.   

Colorado has seen a significant increase in rabies in recent years along the Front Range and to a lesser extent in eastern Colorado. According to statewide data from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as of September 8, 124 animals have tested positive for rabies in Colorado so far in 2017.  This represents a significant increase from the 88 total animals testing positive in 2016.  For more information about rabies please call your county health department or visit

• Alamosa County Public Health, Della Cox-Vieira RN, MPH, Director

8900 Independence Way, Alamosa 81101

Office: 719-589-6639; Fax: 719-589-1103; Cell: 719-429-4832

[email protected]

• Conejos County Public Health, Connie Edgar FNP-C, DNP, Director

19023 HWY 285, P. O. Box 78, La Jara 81140

Office: 719-274-4307; Fax: 719-274-4309; Cell: 719-850-4307

[email protected]

• Costilla County Public Health, Vivian Gallegos RN, Director

233 Main St. Suite C, P. O. Box 99, San Luis 81152

Office: 719- 672-3332; Direct line: 719-672-3456 ;Fax: 719-672-3856; Cell: 719-206-0118

[email protected]

• Rio Grande County Public Health, Emily Brown MPH, CPH, Director

925 6th Street, Rm 101 - Del Norte  81132

Office: (719) 657-3352; Direct: (719) 657-4231; Cell:  (719) 850-0040 Fax:  (719) 657-2286

[email protected]

• Silver Thread Public Health District, Tara Hardy M.S, Director

802 Rio Grande Ave., P. O. Box 425, Creede 81130

Lake City main office: 970-944-0321, Creede office: 719-658-2416 Cell: 970- 819-1028

[email protected]

• Saguache County Public Health, David Daboll, Director

PO Box 68 Saguache 81144

Office: 719-655-2533, Fax: 719-655-0105, [email protected]