SAMAMISH, Washington – Health officials are warning the public after two bats found in western Washington this month tested positive for rabies.
On Monday, public health officials in Seattle and King County said a Samamish resident had recently found a bat in their yard. The resident, who was wearing garden gloves, took the bat and moved it from their yard. The bat was aggressive and bit the resident several times.
According to officials, the bat was positive for rabies and the resident began treatment to prevent the development of rabies. It was the first bat in King County to be positive for rabies this year. In 2020, Public Health said the department facilitated rabies testing for 45 bats that had had contact with humans, and five of the bats tested were rabies.
Health officials said a cat caught a bat and owners sent the bat for testing, which is positive for rabies. The cat’s owner has updated his pet’s rabies vaccinations and she can’t handle the bat with her bare hands, according to officials
Anyone who comes in contact with a bat should immediately call their medical provider and report the public health exposure to 206-296-4774.
Officials warn residents that as the weather warms, the bats will begin to come out of hibernation.
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