CONTACT David Hudson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047David.Hudson@nebraska.gov
DHHS reminds residents to avoid wild animals including bats and vaccinate pets
Lincoln – Late summer is prime time for bat activity in Nebraska and Nebraskans should take care to avoid rabies exposure as the season wanes, according to state health officials.
“Bats are responsible for carrying much of the rabies virus in Nebraska," said Dr. Bryan Buss, State Public Health Veterinarian for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “We're well into the peak time of the year for bat activity. People should be cautious around bats and other wild animals, like skunks, which are another common rabies carrier."
Fifteen animals have tested positive for rabies so far this year, 12 of them bats.
In addition to bats and skunks, other wildlife such as foxes, coyotes and raccoons can have rabies and transmit it to people. Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system and is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal or if saliva from a rabid animal gets directly into an open wound or a person's eyes, nose or mouth. Rabies is generally fatal without preventive treatment.
Help prevent the spread of rabies by following these tips:
What to do if you think you've had direct contact with a bat:
Rabies cases in Nebraska
2019 – 15 positive cases to date (12 bats and 3 skunks)
2018 – 22 cases (17 bats, 2 skunks, 1 cat, and 1 horse, and 1 bovine)
2017 – 19 cases (10 bats, 7 skunks, and 2 cats)
2016 – 19 cases (14 bats, 4 skunks, and 1 bovine)
No human cases of rabies have occurred among Nebraskans since the 1920s.
For more statistics on the number of rabies cases in Nebraska, go to - http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Rabies.aspx.
Find more information on bat-proofing your home - http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/management/index.html.
General information about rabies can be found here - http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html.