DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) – Health officials say a second bat has tested positive for rabies northeast of Durango. They say a human interacted with the bat and is receiving treatment to protect from developing rabies. San Juan Basin Public Health has urged residents to stay away from stray and wild animals and to check their pets’ vaccination status.

They say that rabies is spread mainly through the bite of rabid animals. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an unfamiliar animal should contact their doctor.

Health officials have given the following tips to avoid rabies:

  • Never touch or feed wild or stray animals
  • If someone sees a sick or orphaned animal, do not touch it, instead, contact La Plata County Animal Protection
  • Vaccinate pets
  • Leash dogs, keep dogs within sight (in a fenced yard or on a leash) during the day while outside
  • Keep cats and pets inside at night
  • Call a veterinarian if a pet has been exposed to a wild animal
  • Vaccinate pastured animals annually
  • Avoid all contact with bats, especially bats on the ground
  • Bat-proof homes, information is available on how to do so on the CDC’s website
  • If a bat has been present in a room where people are sleeping, the bat should be safely caught and tested for rabies. If it cannot be caught, those in the home should receive post-exposure treatment to avoid developing rabies