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645 Parfet Street Lakewood, CO 80215303-239-7078
5150 Allison Street Arvada, CO 80002303-271-5780
7495 W. 29th Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033303-271-5780
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies (a rabid animal). Any wild mammal, like a raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote, or bat, can have rabies and transmit it to people. Although rare, it is also possible for people to get rabies when infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound of an individual. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention most of the recent rabies cases in the United States have been caused by rabies virus from bats.
Rabies is a fatal disease if left untreated. However, thousands of people are successfully treated each year after being bitten by an animal that may have rabies. A few people die of rabies each year in the United States, usually because they do not recognize the risk of rabies from the bite of a wild animal and do not seek medical advice immediately.
REMEMBER: If bitten by a bat, dog, cat, raccoon or other mammal, wash the affected area thoroughly and seek medical advice immediately. Contact local animal control agency and notify them of location of animal so that, if indicated, the animal can undergo appropriate testing or quarantine. See our Preventing Animal-Borne Disease brochure for more information.
Bats play an important role in our ecosystem. Worldwide, they are primary predators of enormous numbers of insects and pests that can cost farmers and foresters billions of dollars annually.
According to Bat Conservation International, bats can eat as many as 1,200 insects in an hour. Bats often eat mosquitoes which can carry life threatening diseases such as West Nile Virus. Bats play key roles in keeping a wide variety of insect populations in balance.
For more information on animal borne disease and prevention please call Jefferson County Public Health's Zoonosis Program at 303-271-5730 or 303-271-5700.
100 Jefferson County Parkway Golden, Colorado 80419 (303) 279-6511
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