Outbreak of bat-transmitted cow rabies reported in southern Costa Rica

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal says it has encountered bovine rabies on a southern Costa Rica finca with 200 cows.

Two cows have died of the paralytic disease on the finca in La Palma, Corredores, the agency said.

The disease appears periodically in Costa Rica and is spread by vampire bats. The animal health agency has quarantined the

finca and is seeking to reduce the number of bats.

Animal health workers also will check adjacent properties for other possible sick cows. There are about 500 cows in the area. The virus also affects dogs. A vaccine is available for cows, other animals and humans who work with animals

As rabies takes hold, the afflicted animal will exhibit impeded coordination, difficulty walking, increased salivation and paralysis of the lower legs, making it unable to stand upright.

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