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

Rabies in Idaho: Handle bats with care (and very thick gloves)!

rabiesmapWe haven’t had a report yet, but since this seems to be around the time of year we start to receive reports about rabid bats, so it’s a good time to talk about rabies. Many people still associate getting infected with rabies with domestic dog bites, but since 1960 the majority of all rabid animal cases in the U.S. have been in wild animals and bats. Continue reading

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

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

Fight the Bite – For Both Mosquitoes and Bats!

New reports of West Nile virus infections and bats being found with rabies are a good warning for people to watch out for biting critters.

Today, Southwest District Health Department announced three human cases of West Nile virus, two in Canyon County and one in Payette County, bringing the statewide total to 5. Also today, Central District Health issued a warning for people to be aware of an above-average season of rabid bats, documenting 7 rabid bats in Ada County since June. Last year, Ada County reported 2 rabid bats. Continue reading

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