Rabies in Idaho: Teach your children to avoid bats

​​This is the time of year the department starts to receive reports about rabid bats, so it’s a good time to talk about rabies with your kids. They are out of school by now and playing outside more, so it’s a great time to teach them to avoid bats and to immediately tell an adult if they do find one.

Why is rabies so scary?

The virus is 100 percent fatal for people and animals who do not get timely medical attention. A couple of people in the United States die each year from a rabies infection, usually because they’ve been bitten or scratched by an animal and didn’t seek medical attention soon enough.

What animals in Idaho carry the rabies virus?

In Idaho, rabies is most often found in bats, but the virus also has been found in other animals. In other states, raccoons, skunks, and foxes are natural carriers of the virus, in addition to bats. Continue reading

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Rabid bat found in Bingham County

Southeastern Idaho Public Health (SIPH) has confirmed that a bat has tested positive for rabies in Bingham County.  This is the first bat to test positive for rabies in Idaho this year. Last year, 12 bats tested positive for rabies in Idaho.  While most bats are do not carry rabies, rabies is a virtually 100% fatal viral illness in humans and other animals. Continue reading

First rabid bat of the summer reported in Meridian

A bat found in Meridian has tested positive for rabies, Central District Health Department (CDHD) has reported this afternoon. The bat was found in the back yard of a central Meridian home and is the first of the year to test positive for rabies in Idaho.

There is no known exposure to people or pets.

Each year, rabid bats are discovered throughout the state. Public health officials want to remind people to take precautions around bats and make sure that their dogs, cats and horses are up-to-date on their rabies vaccines. Ten bats tested positive for rabies last year in Idaho, with two of the reports occurring in Ada County.

“Bats are the main source of rabies exposures in Idaho, and every year we receive reports of rabid bats,” said Sarah Correll, epidemiologist with the Central District Health Department. “We encourage parents to talk to their children about the importance of not touching bats or other wild animals, because doing so can have serious medical consequences.”  Continue reading