The Mesa County Health Department has reported that three bats tested positive for rabies in the county this past week.
Health officials are telling residents that bats and other wildlife should never be handled. Human and animals can contract the rabies virus from the bite of a rabid animal. The nervous system is attacked and often results in death but there are steps you can take to protect yourself from this deadly disease.
“An important message for parents to teach their children is definitely to not approach wildlife or stray animals. In particular fox, skunk, bats, those otherwise nocturnal animals who shouldn't be out during the day. If an animal like that is approaching you, something is most likely wrong with that animal” said Karen Martsolf, Public Information Officer for Mesa County Health and Human Services.
Health officials also urge pet owners to keep their pets' rabies vaccinations up to date and take a few precautions to avoid pets coming in contact with wildlife.
If you do come across an animal that you think has rabies, you should contact Mesa County Animal Services.