Bat in Grand Canyon tests positive for rabies

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, AZ (AP) -

A bat collected from the bottom of the Grand Canyon has tested positive for rabies.

Park officials said Friday that visitors have reported an uptick in bats along the Colorado River.

No one is known to have come in contact with the rabid bat. It was taken from Phantom Ranch in late August and tested.

Health officials say rabies is preventable in humans if they seek medical treatment after being exposed to a rabid animal. It can be deadly otherwise.

Health statistics show 116 animals have tested positive for rabies around the state so far this year.

Most of those involve bats, skunks and foxes. 

Grand Canyon National Park would like to remind visitors about the following things they can do to protect themselves from rabies:

  • Never approach or touch wildlife. Please observe and appreciate wildlife from a safe distance. If you see sick or erratic behaving wildlife, notify a park employee or call the park’s 24-hour emergency communications center at 928-638-7805.  

  • In areas where pets are allowed, make sure that pets are vaccinated and kept on a leash at all times.

  • Teach children to tell you if they are bitten or scratched by an animal.

  • Anyone who has had contact with a bat or other wild animal in the park should notify a park employee as soon as possible.  You should consult with your doctor in the event you have contacted an animal thought to be rabid.

  • While on a river trip take extra precaution and sleep in a tent for protection.Rabid bats have been documented in 49 states. Every year, cases of rabies in animals are reported in Coconino County in Arizona.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), data suggest transmission of rabies virus can occur from even minor or unrecognized bites from bats. Human and domestic animal contact with bats should be minimized.  Bats should never be handled by untrained and unvaccinated persons or be kept as pets.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Source : http://www.azfamily.com/story/39094274/bat-in-grand-canyon-tests-positive-for-rabies