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Nevada lab: 7 rabies cases in bats from Vegas, Reno areas

July 13, 2020 GMT

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Department of Agriculture says testing found rabies in seven bats from the Las Vegas and Reno areas.

The department’s Animal Disease Laboratory says it typically confirms as many as 20 cases of bat rabies a year, and bat activity tends to peak throughout the state between May and October.

This year, lab officials have tested 179 bats, finding the seven positive rabies cases in animals from Clark and Washoe counties.

Lab supervisor Laura Morrow says any bat, dead or alive, that may have had contact with people or domestic animals should be submitted to the lab for testing and reported to local health officials.

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Morrow called it important to contact the Animal Disease Lab or local animal control officials before attempting to pick up a bat, and no one should touch a bat without thick gloves to avoid potential bites.

State Veterinarian Amy Mitchell called rabies a fatal but preventable disease.

In Nevada, rabies vaccinations are required for dogs, cats and ferrets.