The Nevada Department of Agriculture has confirmed eight rabies cases in bats in five counties including Washoe County. 

The other cases were found in Clark County, Elko County, Lyon County and White Pine County.

Rabies is common in bats throughout Nevada, and bat activity tends to increase between the months of May and October. 

Any bats, dead or alive, that may have been in contact with people or domestic animals should immediately be submitted to the NDA for testing and reported to county animal control and health authorities, however, contact the lab or your local animal control agency before attempting to pick up a bat.

“Always avoid direct contact with bats, and never touch them without thick gloves,” Laura Morrow, NDA Animal Disease Lab supervisor, said. “Don’t allow children or domestic animals to come in contact with any bats.”

Every year, the Animal Disease Laboratory confirms between 10 and 20 cases of bat rabies. To date, the lab has tested 81 bats and eight were positive for rabies (four in Washoe County and one each in Elko, Clark, Lyon and White Pine Counties). 

In the state of Nevada, rabies vaccination is required for dogs, cats and ferrets. Companion animal owners are urged to have pets vaccinated against rabies and maintain a regular vaccination schedule. Indoor cats should also be vaccinated, as bats can enter and exit residences unnoticed. 

(NDA contributed to this report.)