Canyon County

Wild Wilder bat tests positive for rabies

It’s the first rabid bat this year in the counties covered by Southwest District Health. It’s not clear where the bat was found, but health district officials say no human exposure occurred.

Rabies is an infectious disease that can be transmitted among pets, wild animals and humans. It can be fatal if not treated immediately.

“Bats are the main source of rabies exposures to humans in Idaho, and the only animal in Idaho known to naturally carry the virus,” Brian Crawford, the health district’s director of environmental health services, said in a statement. “Most bats are harmless and do not carry rabies, but it is best to avoid them if possible.”

The best way to avoid rabies? Don’t touch bats with your bare hands. If you come across a dead, sick or otherwise suspicious bat, call your local health district to report it and for advice. (Southwest District Health: 208-455-5400. Central District Health: 208-375-5211.)