Sparks, NEV. - June 23, 2022
The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) Animal Disease
Laboratory has confirmed two cases of rabies in bats in Clark and Douglas Counties.
Bats are common throughout Nevada, with their activity increasing between May
and October. The Animal Disease Laboratory confirms between 10 and 20 cases of
bat rabies each year. While other species of wildlife can carry rabies, bats
are the most common source of human and domestic animal transmission, making it
important to keep pets vaccinated and ensure no contact is made with wildlife.
“Animals carrying rabies can only be confirmed through
laboratory testing,” said NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell. “It is
important for all animal owners to be proactive and work with their
veterinarians to keep animals up to date on vaccinations, to protect both the
animals and their owners. Even if animals are indoor-only pets, they should
still be vaccinated as it’s possible for bats to enter and exit residences
In the state of Nevada, a current rabies vaccination is
legally required for dogs, cats and ferrets, and are also available for certain
species of livestock. Animal owners are urged to work with their veterinary
health care provider to maintain a regular vaccination schedule for their
“If you or your animals have had contact with any bats,
contact your local healthcare professional or veterinary provider immediately,”
said NDA Animal Disease Lab supervisor Laura Morrow.
Any bats, dead or alive, that may have been in contact with
people or domestic animals should be reported immediately. It is
important that individuals contact
the NDA Animal Disease Lab or their local animal control
agency before attempting to pick up a bat. If an individual is
asked to collect the bat for testing, they should carefully follow all
instructions provided by the NDA or animal control agency including wearing
heavy gloves to avoid potential bites.
Individuals can learn more about rabies and the
proper steps to take in the case of a possible exposure on the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov/rabies,
or through the Southern
Nevada Health District or Washoe
County Health Department.
About the Nevada Department of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture (NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and
promote Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 225 dedicated employees
providing services in its five divisions, Administrative Services, Animal
Industry, Measurement Standards, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Health and
Compliance. The department’s $288 million budget facilitates regulatory and
administrative work in agriculture and food manufacturing industries,
protecting public and environmental health and worker safety, and providing
food distribution and oversight for the United States Department of
Agriculture’s school and community nutrition programs.