Bats in Boulder: Rabies risk

May 28, 2013

Native species of bats have returned to Boulder for the summer. Unfortunately, our local bats have a high rate of infection with the rabies virus, which is 100 percent fatal to humans. However, an extremely effective rabies vaccine can provide immunity to rabies when administered after an exposure (postexposure prophylaxis) or for protection before an exposure occurs (preexposure prophylaxis). If you are bitten by an animal, contact your medical provider or local health department immediately to determine the potential for rabies exposure, the need for treatment, and to decide whether or not to test the animal for rabies.

Bats transmit rabies through very small bites to humans and animals. Never handle bats or other wildlife, including raccoons, skunks and foxes.
 
If you discover a bat in your apartment or home, immediately cover the bat with a box; close the door to the room and keep friends, family members and animals away. If you live in university-owned housing and find a bat in your room, contact building maintenance immediately at 303-735-5555. If you live off-campus and find a bat in your home, contact your local animal control agency for further instructions.
 
If you or a pet has had any physical contact* with a bat, please call Boulder County Public Health at 303-441-1564. For after-hours/weekend call 303-370-9395.
*Contact includes touching, petting, or picking up a bat.
 
For more information on bats and rabies visit www.BoulderCountyVector.org.

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