First new case of rabies this season reported in Josephine County

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WILLIAMS, Ore. – Josephine County officials are notifying the public about a rabid bat that was found in the Williams area.

On June 28, the first new case of rabies this season was announced via a press release. According to that release, nearly 10% of bats tested in Oregon have rabies. This makes it a good opportunity for officials to remind the public not to handle bats.

“Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system and is almost always caused by exposure to a rabid animal,” county officials wrote. “Exposure is usually through a bite but can also occur through scratches and saliva contact with broken skin. It is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. Vaccinating pets against rabies protects them and provides a buffer zone between humans and rabid wild animals.”

In case you think you been exposed, experts say to immediately clean the wound. If the bat has been captured, secure it to avoid any further exposure and take it to a veterinarian or to the animal control department for testing. This may allow you to avoid a post-exposure rabies shot.

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