First case of bat rabies in 2013
Oregon health officials are reporting that a bat found dead inside a residence in Medford in May tested positive for rabies, according to Oregon State University's Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory in Corvallis.
This is the first bat in Oregon to test positive for rabies in 2013. Last year, 14 bats (one in Jackson County), and three foxes (one in Jackson County) tested positive for rabies in Oregon. Each year, approximately 10 percent of bats tested are found to have rabies.
Protect yourself and your pets
Unfortunately, bats carry rabies. People can take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from bats and rabies. If you know your pet has encountered a bat or been bitten by a wild animal, contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Never handle bats. If you find a bat during daylight hours, it is probably not healthy and should be avoided.
- Vaccinate your pets (dogs and cats) against rabies.
- Watch wildlife from a distance. Don't approach or attempt to handle wild animals.
- Do not feed wild animals.
- Keep garbage in secure containers and away from wildlife.
- Feed pets indoors.
- Seal openings in attics, basements, porches, sheds, barns and screen chimneys that might provide access to bats and other wildlife.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that attacks an infected animal's nervous system. Typically, animals acquire rabies by eating or coming in contact with a rabid bat. The rabies strain found in the Oregon foxes is from bats. Other strains of rabies found in the U.S. (skunk and raccoon) are not found in Oregon. Learn more about rabies.
Rabies symptoms in wildlife and where to report
Rabies symptoms in wildlife, particularly foxes, include lethargy, walking in circles, loss of muscular coordination, convulsions, irritability or aggressiveness, disorientation, excessive drooling of saliva, and showing no fear of humans. Report this type of behavior to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) hotline at 1-866-968-2600.
People should stay away from bats and not handle them. If you find a live bat, contact your local ODFW office. If your pet has contact with a bat, contact your veterinarian.