NDA: First rabies case of 2023 confirmed

The Nevada Department of Agriculture is accepting applications through Oct. 20.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture is accepting applications through Oct. 20.

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The Nevada Department of Agriculture Animal Disease Laboratory has confirmed the first rabies case of 2023 in a bat in Clark County.

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.

“Animal owners must be proactive and work with their veterinarians to keep animals up to date on vaccinations,” said NDA Director J.J. Goicoechea, DVM. “Vaccinating pets against rabies protects pets and their owners.”

In 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 veterinarians to establish and maintain a vaccination schedule for their animals.

“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.

Bats can enter and exit residences unnoticed. 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 their local animal control agency before attempting to pick up a bat.

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.


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