Thirteen Pueblo children came in contact with a rabid bat over the weekend, the Pueblo City-County Health Department has confirmed to 11 News.
Nine of the children have been located and are now undergoing treatment. Authorities are still trying to find the four unaccounted children. The children are all between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.
Authorities say that the kids were playing with the bat outside the Sangre de Cristo Apartments near Crawford and Acero in Pueblo. The bat later died and tested positive for rabies. Health officials say it's critical that they find all of the children who came into contact with the bat, so they can begin treatment.
Anyone with information on the four remaining children who may have come into contact with the bat are asked to call the health department at 719-214-1322.
To avoid exposure to rabies, the health department released the following:
• Never touch a bat or any other wild animal. A healthy bat likely will not come near enough to be touched, so a bat that is slow, lying on the ground or that falls from a tree could be showing signs of illness. If you can touch the animal, chances are it is sick. Children who find a bat should leave it where it is and tell an adult.
• Do not pick up a bat with your hands, even if you’re wearing gloves. Use a shovel and double trash bags.
• If you are bitten by a bat or if you suspect you’ve been exposed to its saliva, try to contain the bat without touching it, and contact your local animal control agency or health department so the bat can be tested.
• Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies.
In the link on the side of this page, you can view more prevention tactics and information on where rabies has been found in Pueblo.