EAGLE POINT, Ore. — A rabid bat was found in Eagle Point, meriting warnings from health officials.
On the afternoon of July 13, a Jackson County resident came into contact with a bat. The bat was sent to Oregon State University for testing, and results confirmed that the bat was positive for rabies.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, bats are the most common carriers of rabies in the state of Oregon. Approximately eight to ten percent of the bats tested for rabies test positive every year, with seven bats testing positive for rabies in Oregon so far in 2018.
Authorities stress the main protection for humans is to avoid contact with stray animals and wildlife and ensure that pets are vaccinated against the rabies virus.
If you find a bat, stray animal or other wildlife on your property, take children and pets indoors and contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at (866) 968-2600.
Jackson County Health and Human Services officials advise taking extreme precautions before attempting to handle a bat. If it is necessary to pick up a bat, it is best to wear heavy gloves, use a shovel, or both.
If contact is made with a bat, such as a bite or scratch, an attempt should be made to safely capture the bat to conduct testing for the rabies virus. Efforts should be made to retrieve the bat without damaging the head and the bat should be kept in a cool place. Immediately seek medical attention and report the incident to Jackson County at (541) 774-8045.
For more information about rabies, visit the Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/RABIES/Pages/rabies.aspx
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