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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

US : Two Bats Found In County Test Positive For Rabies

An article from AZ Journal :

" Two bats recently found dead in Navajo County have tested positive for rabies.

Although the bats were in the Show Low and Lakeside areas, Navajo County Public Health Services officials are cautioning all county residents to take precautions, including avoiding touching or handling bats, and vaccinating dogs and cats.

Public Health Services Director Dr. Wade Kartchner noted that parents should also teach their children not to handle sick or injured animals, especially bats.

“It is important that parents instruct their children to stay away from bats,” Dr. Kartchner said.

“These incidents illustrate why no one should handle bats, even if they are dead. Anyone who comes across a bat should leave it alone and call animal control.”

According to Navajo County Public Health Services, bats are the animal responsible for most incidents of human exposure to rabies in the county. If not promptly treated, rabies is fatal in humans.

Public Health Services warns, “Do not touch or play with bats… Approximately 30 people are exposed each year to rabid animals in Arizona. In Navajo County, bats present the most common source of rabies exposure to humans because rabid bats often fall to the ground where they are easily accessible to people, pets and especially children. Each year, children at elementary schools find rabid bats on school grounds or bring one to school. One out of five bats found on the ground, unable to fly, is sick with rabies."

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