LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A rabid bat has been discovered in a residential area in County Oldham.
The Oldham County Department of Health (OCHD) said in a statement that the bat was dead when it was found at La Grange near Main Street. He tested positive for the rabies virus. So far, the only bat has tested positive. Three other bats located in the same area and sent for testing came back negative.
Records show this to be the first confirmed rabid bat found in County Oldham in 10 years, and Public Health Director Matt Rhodes says they regularly monitor the bat population. mouse.
âI mean bats are known vectors of rabies, so that’s normal, and for that reason we do surveillance tests every year in Kentucky,â Rhodes said.
Rhodes says there is no imminent risk to residents of Oldham County. OCHD takes every precaution to protect residents and their pets.
The health department is asking residents of Oldham County to keep animals away from all dead or sick bats and to ensure animals are up to date with all rabies vaccines.
âBecause we identified it this year, we just want to remind people that rabies is a very serious problem and that they need to protect themselves,â Rhodes said.
Rabies is a virus that infects wildlife, especially bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes, according to the CDC. It can be spread to humans and pets when bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. Left untreated, rabies almost always causes death. But rabies is 100% preventable if it is treated before symptoms appear with a rabies vaccine and drugs to fight the infection.
Healthy bats typically do not interact with humans or pets, and the health department is warning the public not to attempt to interact with a bat that is acting abnormally.
“If you see a bat during the day or if you see a bat on the ground and behaving in an unusual way, as you usually do not have human interactions with bats when they are healthy. “Rhodes said. “If you see one, be sure to take precautions.”
Rhodes doesn’t want to scare people, he wants everyone to know.
“Since we haven’t had a case, even in a bat for 10 years, we just wanted to let people know that this is a potential problem for humans and their animals.” Rhodes said.
If you see a dead or sick bat in your Oldham County area, immediately call OCHD at 502-222-3516.
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