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First Rabid Bat Confirmed In DeKalb County

Mark Bowler, University of California, Irvine

A bat that bit a dog in Cortland tested positive for rabies. This is the first rabid bat confirmed in DeKalb County this year. 

Greg Maurice is the Director of Health Protection for the DeKalb County Health Department. He says fewer than five rabid bats are found in the county each year, but pet and human contact with the animals should be taken seriously.

“The rabies virus is in the saliva, basically, of the bat and so the saliva would get into an open cut that you would have, things like that. It could still transmit the virus without even directly biting you.”

He says pets bitten by or exposed to bats should be taken to the vet the same day or next day to receive a booster vaccine.

“As long as they’ve been current on their rabies vaccines, then it’s a small chance that anything would occur beyond that, like developing into any sort of symptoms.”

People who have been exposed to bats may also need medical treatment.

Maurice says that if a bat finds its way into your home, contact animal control instead of releasing it outdoors. That way the bat can be tested for rabies.