As the weather warms up in King County, bat are coming out of hibernation which means that human bathing interactions are greatly increased compared to other times of the year.
Recently, a resident of Sammamish found a bat in his yard. The resident put gardening gloves and took the bat out of her yard. The bat was aggressive and the resident was bitten several times. The resident alerted Seattle & King County to public health immediately.
The bat was tested for rabies by public health and tested positive. The resident began rabies after exposure to protect them from rabies.
This bat is the first bat to test positive for rabies in 2021 in King County. In 2020, 45 bats tested for rabies with contact with people were facilitated and five of the bats tested were rabid.
Bats infected with rabies can spread the infection to humans with bat or bat saliva on naked skin.
You should call your health care provider straight away if you have contacted or even have awakened in a room with a bat inside, in addition to reporting public health exposure at: 206-296-4774.
Rabies and Bat
Any person or animal who affects or contacts a bat or its saliva may be at risk for rabies, which is almost always fatal when symptoms start. Fortunately, if treatment is given before symptoms appear, rabies may be prevented.
“Rabies can only be prevented if treated before symptoms appear, so it is important to seek medical assessment as soon as possible if a bat is in contact,” said Dr Jeff Duchin, Public Health Officer – Seattle & King County. “Touching a bat, being bitten, scratched or any other bare skin contact with a bat or its saliva are part of contact.”
Hanna Oltean, Senior Epidemiologist at the Washington State Department of Health, said: “Bats with rabies are present in each part of Washington. “The most important precaution for preventing rabies is to avoid contact with wild animals, especially bats, and to instruct kids to never touch or handle fats, including dead animals. Protect your pets from rabies by routinely vaccinating dogs, cats and ferrets.
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