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June 15, 2022

Bat Found in Longmont’s Thompson Park Tests Positive for Rabies

Boulder County, Colo. – A bat found on June 11 at the Southeast corner of Thompson Park in Longmont, near Fourth Avenue and Pratt Street, has tested positive for rabies.

Residents were concerned that their pet may have come into contact with the bat and alerted the City of Longmont, who then collected and submitted the animal to Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) for rabies testing.

“Temperatures are getting warmer, which means more people and pets are outdoors when bats are highly active. Take extra care, don’t interact with animals and make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date,” said Carol McInnes, Boulder County Public Health Environmental Health Specialist. “If there’s any chance that you, your child or your pet has come in contact with a bat, contact us as soon as possible by calling 303-441-1564.”

Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system and is almost always fatal unless it is treated before any symptoms appear. Exposure to rabies is generally the result of a bite or scratch by an infected animal, and it is sometimes practically undetectable, such as a tiny puncture of the skin by a bat. Treatment for rabies exposure involves a series of vaccinations.

Public health officials recommend that the following precautions be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to rabies:

  • DO NOT handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. Contact animal control to collect the animal.
  • Thoroughly wash any wound caused by an animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Keep vaccinations current for all dogs, cats and ferrets. Keep cats and ferrets inside and dogs under direct supervision.
  • Contact your local public health department or animal control if people or pets have been bitten or exposed to a bat.
  • Attempt to contain the bat and then contact your local animal control officer to assist with capturing the bat and delivering it for testing.

Bats and skunks are the most common animal sources of rabies in Colorado. On average, about 15 percent of bats submitted for rabies testing test positive for the disease. Other wild animals that may carry rabies include raccoons and foxes.

Residents who find a bat should call their local animal control office.

For questions about human contact with a bat, call the Colorado Health Information Line at 877-462-2911.

For general information about rabies, visit www.BoulderCountyRabies.org.

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