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Home News Bat tests positive for rabies in San Miguel County
David Morgan
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Bat tests positive for rabies in San Miguel County

June 23, 2023 - Zoonotic Diseases - Disease

LAS VEGAS, N.M.  – A bat found in the Las Vegas area has tested positive for rabies. It is the second bat confirmed rabid by the New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) Scientific Laboratory Division this year. 

Unlike the bat reported by the DOH in May, this bat did not have any known contact with humans or animals; however, livestock on the property where the bat was found received rabies vaccinations as a precaution. Additionally, two people are receiving post-exposure rabies shots as the possibility of exposure to bats while sleeping could not be excluded.  

The discovery of the bat underscores the need for knowing basic bat safety: any bat that allows you to approach it, is unable to fly, is active during the day, or is found in an unusual place may be sick or rabid and should never be handled. If you find yourself near a bat, dead or alive, do not touch it.  

Bat bites can be very small and are not always visible or painful, so it is important to talk with your healthcare provider or call the New Mexico Department of Health at 505-827-0006 if you have questions about possible contact with a bat.  

If you see a sick or dead bat, you can contact the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and report it to your local game warden. Contact information for your local game warden can be found at: Enforcement Contacts - New Mexico Department of Game & Fish

Rabies vaccines are recommended for anyone who has direct contact with a bat, or who finds a bat in the room where they were sleeping or where a child was unattended. 

For your dogs and cats, rabies boosters are the best way to protect them if they encounter a rabid wild animal. Horses should also be vaccinated, and vaccination should be considered for livestock on smaller family farms, especially when rabid wild animals are confirmed in the vicinity.

In addition, the DOH recommends the following to keep you and your family safe from rabies:  

  • Always keep pets on a leash. Pets should be up to date on their legally required rabies vaccinations and wearing current license tags on their collar. If your cat or dog has been bitten or scratched, especially by a wild animal, call your pet’s veterinarian even if the wound is superficial. 
  • Horses and other livestock should also be considered for rabies vaccination to protect them from rabid animals that may attack them. 
  • Stay away from wild or unfamiliar animals. Do not attempt to feed, approach, or touch wild animals (alive or dead). Teach this important message to your children and always keep a close eye on your kids. 
  • If you or someone you know are bitten by an animal, or come into contact with an animal’s saliva, wash the exposed site immediately with soap and water. Be sure to report the bite to local animal control and seek medical care as soon as possible.   
  • If you or your pets are bitten or otherwise exposed to the saliva of wild animals, seek medical care immediately and contact the New Mexico Department of Health at (505) 827-0006.  

For more info about rabies see the New Mexico Department of Health website at:

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

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Un murciélago da positivo en las pruebas de la rabia en el condado de San Miguel