Bat tests postive for rabies in Custer County

Loup Basin Public Health Department

Loup Basin Public Health Department reports a positive case of rabies in a bat that had been found in a residential home in Custer County.

Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and spinal cord of animals and humans, and is almost always fatal without intervening treatment. The rabies virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal or via contamination of open wounds or mucus membranes with potentially infectious material, such as saliva. Seek medical guidance from your health care provider or local health department if you believe you may have been exposed to rabies.

Exposure to rabies can be prevented by taking these steps:
- Do not approach, handle, or feed wild or stray animals.
- Have your dogs, cats, and ferrets vaccinated against rabies and keep the vaccinations up-to-date.
- Maintain control of your pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.
- Teach children to stay away from wild animals or animals they do not know.
- Prevent bats from entering your home by using window screens and chimney caps and by closing any openings greater than ¼ inch by ½ inch. Bats found in the home should be safely collected, if possible, and tested for rabies. The Center for Disease Control has instructions on how to safely catch a bat for testing at this link :
- Wear gloves when handling an animal if it has been in a fight with another animal. Keep it away from people and other animals and call your veterinarian or local health department to report the animal exposure.

Loup Basin Public Health Department serves Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Howard, Loup, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler counties. If you have questions regarding rabies or a possible rabies exposure, you can contact Loup Basin Public Health Department at 308.346.5795