A rabid bat caught by a family pet in the Eagle area is the first found in Ada County this year, according to a Central District Health Department press release.
The release said a cat caught the rabid animal and brought it inside an Eagle home. While the cat was in contact with the bat, no humans inside the home were. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the cat was vaccinated against rabies.
Eleven cases of rabies in bats were reported in Ada County last year, said CDHD, more than half of the statewide total of 20 such cases. Rabies is nearly 100 percent fatal in humans and other animals.
CDHD recommends the following steps to lower your risk of contracting rabies from an infected bat:
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▪ Do not touch a bat with your bare hands;
▪ If you have had an encounter with a bat, seek medical attention;
▪ If you come in contact with a bat, save the bat in a container without touching it and contact your district health department to arrange testing for rabies. Whenever possible, the bat should be tested to rule out an exposure to rabies;
▪ Always vaccinate your pets for rabies, including horses. Pets may encounter bats outdoors or in the home; and
▪ Bat-proof your home or cabin by plugging all holes in the siding and maintaining tight-fitting screens on windows.