Uptick in Rabies Infected Bats Prompt Warning For Sioux Falls Pet Owners
The City of Sioux Falls is warning pet owners to make sure their pets are vaccinated for rabies after several bats have tested positive for the disease recently.
Officials say that 74 bats from Sioux Falls have been tested for rabies this year and since September four of those bats have tested positive. Three of the infected bats were found by pets. The fourth landed on a person's head while they were sleeping.
"According to the South Dakota Department of Health, only 42 rabid bats were detected in South Dakota during the 10-year period from 2009-2018. Typically only one or two bats test positive from Sioux Falls each year." - City Of Sioux Falls Press Release
When a bat is infected with rabies it that have a hard time flying. That makes them easier for pets and people to come in contact with them.
Three bats were captured by family pets and one bat landed on the victim while she slept.
City officials say that pet owners should make sure their pet's rabies vaccinations are up to date. In Sioux Falls all cats and dogs over six months old are required to be vaccinated.
If contact with an infected bat is suspected, contact Sioux Falls Animal Control at the non-emergency number 367-7000.