Rabid bat discovered in downtown Boise: Central District Health
Public health officials are urging Idahoans to take precautions and avoid contact with bats after a rabid bat was found in downtown Boise.
The bat was found Tuesday on a sidewalk on Bannock Street across from Cecil D. Andrus Park, according to a news release from Central District Health. The bat tested positive for rabies Wednesday.
This is the fourth rabid bat found in Idaho this year. Two were reported in Bannock County and one in Madison County, the statement said. Typically, 15 rabid bats are found each year in Idaho.
“If you handled a bat in downtown Boise in the past week, it is important that you contact your primary care provider immediately to discuss the situation and determine if rabies vaccines are warranted,” a said state public health veterinarian Leslie Tengelsen. Release. “Bat bites are extremely small and hard to see, so if there’s any chance you’ve handled a bat near the park, talk to your healthcare provider. If your pet has caught a bat near the park, even if currently vaccinated against rabies, talk to your veterinarian about giving your pet a rabies booster.
Rabies can be fatal to people and pets, the Boise Health District said. Although most bats do not have rabies, they are the most common rabid animal in Idaho.
Any resident who has encountered the bat found near Bannock Street is urged to call Central District Health to speak to an epidemiologist at 208-375-5211.
Two other dead bats may have been in the same area last week, according to the press release. If anyone finds other dead or dying bats in the area, they are asked to call the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-465-8465.
Central District Health offers tips to protect yourself:
- Never touch a bat with your bare hands.
Be “very wary” of bats found on the ground.
If you touch or come into contact with a bat, seek medical attention.
If you’re trying to rescue a bat, use thick gloves or another method to transfer the bat to a container without touching it.
- Contact your local public health district for testing.
Vaccinate your pets.
Bat proof your house.