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Warning Issued After Rabid Bat Found Near Denver Zoo Bird Exhibit

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4/AP) — Colorado health officials are warning visitors to the Denver Zoo that a rabid bat was found outside the bird exhibit on Sunday.

Around 11 a.m. a zoo visitor saw a bat flapping on the ground in front of the Bird World exhibit and alerted zoo officials.

State veterinarian Elisabeth Lawaczeck urged parents on Wednesday to ask their children if they knew anyone who had contact with a bat.

A female zoo employee who had on latex gloves is being treated for possible exposure after being bitten. She is expected to be okay.

Zoo officials said the bat was not from the zoo and all zoo animals are vaccinated, and the birds are not believed to be at risk of getting the disease. They say it’s an isolated incident but they want to be safe and err on the side of caution.

Health officials say rabies can be contracted through an animal’s saliva and the disease has no cure.

“We do not advise people waiting for symptoms so start because it is too late. It’s a fatal disease and there is no affective treatment once a person becomes ill,” Lawaczeck said. “The only affective thing to do to prevent a human from getting rabies is to vaccinate them shortly after exposure.”

LINK: Rabies Facts & Prevention Tips

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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