HAE

Rabies is a viral disease that affects warm-blooded mammals. The rabies virus infects the nervous system and causes swelling of the brain, eventually resulting in death. Historically, bats have been the main source of rabies exposures, however, rabid skunks have now been found in Larimer County and they are expected to continue to pose a rabies risk year-round. Bats and skunks present the biggest concern for rabies, but any warm blooded mammal can be infected with rabies. In Larimer County, this has included raccoons, foxes, cats, and even bison. Most bats and skunks do not carry rabies and pose little health risk. If there is no direct contact with pets or people. 

Rabies is Preventable. Avoid contact with wild animals and keep pets and animals up to date on rabies vaccines. There is no treatment once an animal or human shows symptoms. Rabies is 100% preventable but once a human or animal shows symptoms, it is almost 100% fatal. 

Exposure to rabies should be treated preventatively in humans within 7 days of exposure but the sooner the better. Pets and other domestic animals can be protected from getting this disease through vaccination, but there is no effective post-exposure treatment for unvaccinated animals. 

Additional Resources


Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment - Rabies Information