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Health district confirms two cases of rabid bats in the valley

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Updated: 5/16/2013 9:45 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Be very careful with bats.

There have been two cases of rabid bats confirmed in the Las Vegas Valley this year.

The Southern Nevada Health District says the most recent was about a month and a half ago and it was found by children outside their house by Lone Mountain.

“And their mother contacted a local veterinary office and took the bat there and the veterinarian sent the brain specimen to the state health lab to have it tested and it tested positive for rabies,” said Southern Nevada Health District Epidemiologist Kaci Hickox.

The health district says the kids did not come in contact with the bat, but if they had, rabies can be deadly if not treated. There are shots that can be taken that the health district says are highly effective.

To get rabies the animal's saliva would have to enter a person through a bite, or less likely through cuts, wounds, mouth or eyes.

Here in Southern Nevada, there are quite a few species of bats, and they are fairly small in size, feeding off insects they find with their echolocation, kind of like a sonar system.

“They're all over the place at night in this part of the world and you rarely see them or hear them because of the echolocation is such a high frequency,” said UNLV Biology Professor Brett Riddle.

While bats are considered the most common animal to carry rabies, the health district says only one in 1,000 usually has the virus.

If you see a bat in the middle of the day or lying on the ground, call animal control.



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