RACINE COUNTY — The Racine County Public Health Division reported that a bat, which tested positive for rabies, has been found in the eastern part of the county.
The animal was captured and sent for laboratory testing. The positive test was reported last week, according to a county news release. This is the second confirmed rabies case this year for the county.
While rare in the United States, cases of rabies are a concern to public health officials because the virus is often carried by wild animals such as bats, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and skunks.
Rabies is usually transmitted through saliva or brain/nervous system tissue. Humans can only get rabies by coming in contact with these specific bodily fluids and tissues.
Rabies is a fatal disease but is preventable with the proper treatment.
Bat encounters, pet advisories
The Racine County Public Health Division is advising the public of the following:
- Keep your pets up to date on vaccines and keep records of when they were vaccinated.
- Do not keep wild or exotic animals as pets.
- Do not handle wild animals.
- Teach your children not to approach strange animals, including others’ pets.
- Any exposure (bite or non-bite) to bats should be discussed as soon as possible with your physician and reported to your local health department.
- If your pet has been in a fight with any wild animals, please contact your veterinarian and local health department.
If you or a family member get bitten or scratched, wash the wound immediately with liberal amounts of soap and water, and report to your local physician, your local public health department during business hours, or local law enforcement after hours.
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