A bat found outside a convenience store in northeast Colorado Springs tested positive for rabies in El Paso County's first such case this year, health officials said Monday.
Customers spotted the bat under an ice machine at Alta Convenience Store, 3945 Palmer Park Blvd., on May 31, county Public Health said in a news release.
Chances are slim that anyone was exposed to rabies, but officials recommend anyone who had contact with the bat - or knows a child or pet who did - call county Public Health at 719-578-3220, as they may be at risk of getting rabies.
Colorado has had no cases of humans contracting rabies this year, said county Public Health spokeswoman Danielle Oller.
The bat case comes amid an unprecedented spike in rabies among skunks, with 50 of the animals testing positive this year. The increase is associated with warmer weather, a rising skunk population and the spread of rabies across Colorado, health officials said.
Still, rabid bats usually outnumber other afflicted animals.
Rabid animals often have trouble walking and act strangely. The animals should be left alone and officials alerted.
The bat was captured June 5 for testing after Public Health was notified that a customer might have had contact with it. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Laboratory confirmed the bat's rabies June 7.
Those who sustain a bite or scratch from an animal with suspected rabies should call their doctor and Public Health at 578-3200 and report the information to the county at bit.ly/2JuqY2f.