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The original item was published from 8/1/2023 8:21:47 AM to 10/1/2023 6:05:03 PM.

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Summit County Government

Posted on: August 1, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Keystone; Local Officials Urge Caution with Bats and Other Wildlife

Photo of Summit County Courthouse and news release text

A bat tested positive for rabies after coming into contact with an out-of-state visitor in Keystone—the first rabies incident of this year. The visitor is seeking treatment in their home state.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Local health and wildlife officials are urging Summit County residents and visitors to avoid exposure to rabies by avoiding contact with bats.

On July 25th, a bat bit an out-of-state visitor who was staying at a condo in Keystone. The victim immediately went to a local emergency room and received quick treatment to prevent rabies and is expected to be fine. Summit County Animal Control coordinated testing on the deceased bat, which state labs confirmed was positive for rabies.

In Colorado, bats and skunks make up the majority of rabies cases, though any mammal can become infected. While there have been cases of rabid bats in Summit County in the past, this is the first animal to test positive for rabies in Summit County this year.

“A bat that is active during the day, found on the ground, or is unable to fly is more likely than others to be rabid,” according to Amy Wineland, Summit County Public Health Director. “Finding a bat hanging under the eaves of a house, under a porch overhang or hidden behind shutters or gutters is normal. However, you should not touch them. If there’s any chance that you, your child or your pet has encountered a bat, contact us as soon as possible by calling 970-668-9161.”

Rabies is a serious viral disease that can be life-threatening unless treated immediately. Exposure to rabies is generally the result of a bite or scratch by an infected animal, and is sometimes undetectable, such as a tiny puncture of the skin. Treatment involves a series of vaccinations.  

The following precautions are recommended to avoid rabies exposure:

  • Avoid any contact with any wild animals, especially any that act unusual.
  • Report any animal acting strangely to the non-emergency dispatch number at 979-668-8600.
  • Thoroughly wash any wound caused by an animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Keep vaccinations current for all dogs and cats. 
  • If a person or a pet has been bitten or exposed to a bat, please call the Summit County Public Health Department at 970-668-9161. 
  • If you come into contact with a dead bat, place a container over it and call animal control so an officer can collect it for rabies testing. 

For more information on rabies, you can visit:

Summit County Public Health:

Media Contact:

David Rossi, Director of Policy & Communications

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