For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Rogers
**This press release was previously sent with an erroneous header. The following release has been issued by the Washoe County Health District.**
Reno, Nev. June 24, 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bats are responsible for roughly 7 in 10 rabies deaths among people who are infected with the rabies virus in the United States, likely because people may not know of the risk bats pose. Rabies is a virus that infects wildlife, especially bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes. It can spread to people and pets when they are bitten or scratched, causing fever, agitation and death.
Rabies is 100% preventable with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that includes rabies vaccine and medications to fight infection, as long as people get PEP before symptoms start. Understanding the risk of rabies and knowing what to do after contact with wildlife can save lives.
- Leave all wildlife alone.
- Wash animal bites or scratches immediately with soap and water.
- If you are bitten, scratched or unsure, talk to a healthcare provider about whether you need PEP.
- Vaccinate your pets to protect them and your family.
- Click here to visit the Regional Animal Services’ Low -Cost Vaccine Clinic schedule.
- If you find injured wildlife, don’t touch it; contact local authorities for assistance.
For more information about rabies and bats - click here.
If a bat is active during daylight hours it may be infected with rabies. If you see a bat flying during the day, contact the Washoe County Health District Vector-borne Disease Program at (775) 328-2434.
The public should report bites to the Washoe County Health District Vector-borne Disease Program at (775) 328-2434 and Washoe County Regional Animal Services at (775) 322-3647.
For healthcare providers seeing a patient with an animal bite, report the bite to the Washoe County Health District Communicable Disease Program at (775) 328-2447.
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