Rabies in Idaho: Would you know what to do if you find a bat?

Idaho public health officials have gotten reports of two rabid bats in Bonneville and Payette counties, which are Idaho’s first for this summer. Would you know what to do if you found a bat that might be carrying rabies?

What should I do if I find a bat?

The most common ways people encounter bats are after a pet brings one into the home or a bat enters a home through a small opening or open windows or doors. If you can safely avoid the bat, open windows and close doors to the rest of the house, leave it alone and it will likely go away on its own. If you find a bat outside, avoid it and leave it alone and make sure pets, livestock and others also avoid it. If you are bitten or scratched, seek medical attention. Teach children to avoid bats and to let an adult know if they find one.

What if I wake up in there is a bat in the room I was sleeping in?

If you wake up to find a bat in the room and are not be sure whether you might have been bitten or scratched as you slept, a healthcare provider should be consulted immediately. Bats have very small teeth, and it’s difficult to tell outright if you have been bitten or scratched.

What is normal bat behavior?

Bats are generally most active at night. You might see a bat during the day, but that doesn’t mean they are sick. Bats migrate into Idaho every spring, and sometimes they just need to rest along their journey and hang out on the side of a building or a tree. Just leave them alone and they will go on their way when they are ready.

Continue reading “Rabies in Idaho: Would you know what to do if you find a bat?”

1st rabid bat of the season found – Take precautions to protect yourself & your pets

rabiesmapEach year, rabid bats are discovered throughout the state. The first this year was recently found in Bingham County. 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. In 2016, 20 bats tested positive for rabies in Idaho, which is higher than our average of 15 per year. Continue reading “1st rabid bat of the season found – Take precautions to protect yourself & your pets”

First rabid bat of the season found in Bingham County – avoid contact with bats

 

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, Idaho had 20 bats test positive for rabies, and two of them were in Bannock County in Public Health District 6. Continue reading “First rabid bat of the season found in Bingham County – avoid contact with bats”

Rabies: What to do when you wake up and there’s a bat in the room (after you scream!)

 

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As people head out to enjoy the outdoors this summer or stay outside later with daylight savings time, it’s a good time to talk about how to avoid being exposed to rabies, which is a fatal disease caused by a virus. While many people still associate contracting rabies with domestic dog bites, since 1960 the majority of all rabid animal cases in the U.S. have been with wild animals and bats.

Why is rabies so scary?

Because it 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 it, usually because they’ve been bitten or scratched by an animal and didn’t seek medical attention soon after. Continue reading “Rabies: What to do when you wake up and there’s a bat in the room (after you scream!)”

Rabies in Idaho: Leave bats alone!

(Note: A Closer Look At Your Health airs most Tuesdays at 6:50 a.m. on KBOI News Radio 670. This is an edited transcript of the segment from June 28. Since then, another bat has tested positive for rabies, bringing the grand total to two so far this summer.) 

Rabid bats are found every year in Idaho, mostly between May and November. We’ve had one report of a rabid bat this year; it was found in Meridian. There likely will be more, so it’s a good idea to remind your kids that if they see a bat they should leave it alone and tell an adult.

Why is it important for children to leave bats alone?

Rabies infection 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 it, usually because they’ve been bitten or scratched by bat and didn’t seek medical attention right away. The bite of a bat can be so small that people don’t realize the risk associated with it. Continue reading “Rabies in Idaho: Leave bats alone!”