Bat tests positive for rabies in SLV


SAGUACHE COUNTY – A bat in Saguache County tested positive for rabies this week. Public Health is working to identify anyone who may have been exposed to this bat.

“We want to remind the public to protect themselves and their animals,” said SLV Regional Epidemiologist Ginger Stringer. “If you find a bat in your house, don’t shoo it out the window unless you are sure it didn’t have contact with anyone in the room.” 

Bat bites are so small that they are extremely difficult to detect. If you are awakened by a bat in your bedroom, or if you find a bat in a room with an unattended child, a mentally impaired person or an intoxicated person, try to safely capture the bat and call your local public health office so that the bat can be tested. 

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. 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, CO 81101

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

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

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

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

• Costilla County Public Health, Vivian Gallegos RN, Director

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

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

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

925 6th Street, Rm 101 - Del Norte, CO  81132

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

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

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

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

• Saguache County Public Health, David Daboll, Director

PO Box 68 Saguache CO 81144

Office: 719-655-2533; Fax: 719-655-0105;