Utah health officials confirm three cases of rabies in bats

Jun 30, 2022, 12:59 PM
flying bats are pictured. Rabies in bats has been found recently....
The National Park Service issues an advisory after a rabid bat was found. (Getty images)
(Getty images)

SALT LAKE CTIY — Utah health officials say they have confirmed three cases of rabies in bats. Each of these cases exposed either people or their dogs.

The cases happened in Washington, Salt Lake County and Weber counties, according to Hannah Rettler, an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.

A press release from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS, said the people infected received preventative vaccines.

As for the dogs, they were up to date on their vaccinations and received booster shots and a 45-day home quarantine.

Rettler said it is important for pets to be up to date on vaccines in order to protect themselves and their owners. 

“The rabies vaccine is extremely effective, and it’s the thing that we recommend the absolute most for people as their top line of defense,” said Rettler.

If the dogs were exposed without vaccines the only options would have been euthanization or four-month isolation at the owner’s expense.

Symptoms of rabies 

Signs of rabies in animals include changes in normal behavior, foaming at the mouth, staggering, paralysis, or no interest in food or water. 

To keep your pets safe, supervise them when outside and don’t get close to wild animals. Also, consider a pre-exposure vaccine. 

It may take weeks or months or humans to feel symptoms. Also, bats’ teeth and claws are so tiny you may not feel the bite or scratch initially. 

Officials said initial symptoms in humans are similar to the flu, then move to anxiety, confusion, abnormal behavior, and delirium.

What to do if you find a bat

“If you find yourself near a bat, dead or alive, do not touch, hit, or destroy it and do not try to remove it yourself,” said Rettler.

All of the confirmed cases included direct contact with the human and/or the pet.

Instead of making contact, call your local animal control office or the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to test the animal for rabies. 

If you see an animal showing any signs or think a pet or person is exposed to a rabid animal, call your local health department to report it. Furthermore, obtain instructions to submit animals for testing.

Andrew Gordon and Becky Bruce contributed to the reporting of this story.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Aimee Cobabe

Equality Utah supports bill clarifying rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors

Equality Utah is supporting a bill adjusting rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors.
2 days ago
When inversions bring pollution to the ground, we breathe it in. That makes it easier to get sick a...
Dale Spaulding

Is illness or poor air quality causing that cough?

Inversion can impact a person's health. Is that why people are coughing, or is it just the regular cold and flu season?
2 days ago
A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
3 days ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
5 days ago
A study by Intermountain Health that spanned 40 years and sought answers about the health of people...
Simone Seikaly

Intermountain’s 40-year study provides insight into weight-loss surgery

In some cases the results from the weight-loss surgery study were expected. But at least one result could be a cause for alarm and caution.
5 days ago
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a recall for mil...
Simone Seikaly

Check your pantry, a Conagra canned meat recall may affect you

Millions of pounds of canned meat and poultry products (mainly Vienna sausages) are involved in the Conagra recall.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Utah health officials confirm three cases of rabies in bats