News Flash

Public Health News

Posted on: June 1, 2018

May’s rabid bat stats highest in 20 years

RabidBats

For immediate release: May 31, 2018 

Contacts:    

Liz Coleman, Environmental Public Health   360-481-2016
Jessica Baggett, Disease Control and Health Statistics  360-338-5630

May’s rabid bat stats highest in 20 years

Touching a bat could expose you to rabies

OLYMPIA – Since May 1, four bats found in Washington have tested positive for rabies, the highest number identified in the state in the month of May since 1998. The Washington State Department of Health reminds people to call their local health department if they, a family member or a pet interacts with a bat.

Health officials routinely test for and find rabid bats, typically during the summer months. DOH wants the public to continue to take appropriate precautions if a bat – dead or alive – is found. Try to avoid contact with bats and other wild animals; do not touch a bat if possible. If you do have contact with a bat or suspect that a family member or pet had contact with a bat, try to safely capture itand keep it contained away from people and call your local health department for next steps.

It is also important to protect your pets by ensuring their rabies vaccinations are current. More detailed precautions and information can be found on the Washington State Department of Health website.

While any mammal can be infected with the rabies virus, bats are the most common animal in Washington that carry rabies. In 2017, 22 bats were tested and found to have the virus. This is up from 2016 when 20 rabid bats were identified. The Washington State Public Health Laboratories tests between 200 and 300 bats per year. Typically, between three and 10 percent of the bats submitted for testing are found to be rabid. 

The DOH website is your source for a healthy dose of information. 

Additional Info...

Other News in Public Health News

Danger Lake Closed Sign image

ANDERSON LAKE CLOSED DUE TO TOXIN

Posted on: June 4, 2018
20180516_CompostWkshp

Turn Food Waste Into Treasure!

Posted on: April 30, 2018
20180405_ImmunforKids

Kindergarten Immunizations Available

Posted on: April 5, 2018
20171005_HealthInsSignup

WA Healthplanfinder's Open Enrollment

Posted on: October 5, 2017
20170913_PlanAhead

The Power of Preparedness

Posted on: September 10, 2017
ButtonLakeClosedszd

Gibbs Lake Closed Due to Toxin

Posted on: August 17, 2017
ButtonLakeClosedszd

Anderson Lake Closed Due to Toxins

Posted on: May 25, 2017