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Two people exposed to rabid bat in Arapahoe County

Jamaican fruit bats prowl in a laboratory at the University of Northern Colorado.

Two people were exposed to a rabid bat in Englewood, Arapahoe County officials said Tuesday.

The bat is the fourth confirmed rabies case in Colorado this year and the first in Arapahoe County, the county said in a news release. The majority of rabies cases in Colorado are found in bats: of the 55 cases reported statewide in 2023, 47 were bats.

The bat was found near Quincy Avenue and Santa Fe Drive, and two people exposed to the bat began treatment to prevent infection.

Any person or pet who has had direct contact with a bat, especially near that area, should contact Arapahoe County Public Health and their doctor.

Most exposures come from scratches or bites, but bat bites can be small and often painless, said Melissa Adair, Arapahoe County communicable disease epidemiology manager.

A rabid bat was also found outside a Colorado Springs elementary school on May 14, El Paso County Public Health said in a Facebook post. The bat was found at Grant Elementary School, but public health officials do not believe it came into contact with any students or staff, Denver7 reported.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, three other cases of rabid bats have been reported so far this year, one in Boulder County and two in Larimer County.