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Bat tests positive for rabies in Pocatello

A bat found within Pocatello city limits has tested positive for rabies.Southeastern Idaho Public Health confirmed it is the second bat that has tested positive in eastern Idaho this year.The first was in Idaho Falls earlier this summer.

Rabies is a viral illness that can be deadly for humans and other animals.Animals can be exposed by playing with sick bats.

The health district advised people to never touch bats, be suspicious of bat activity during daylight hours, and to vaccinate pets.If you have an encounter with a bat, seek medical attention immediately.

If you can, save the bat in a container and contact your local health district immediately.Never handle a bat with your bare hands.According to the health district, even seemingly insignificant exposures may have contributed to several fatal cases of rabies in the past.

The last time a bat tested positive in Southeastern Idaho Public Health’s coverage area was in 2011. Three bats tested positive in Bannock County and one in Franklin County.

If your dog or cat brings a dead bat home, collect it in a plastic bag without touching it. In addition to contacting your district health department, contact your veterinarian and make sure your animal’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.

Bats can enter your home through holes the size of a quarter.You can bat-proof your home by checking chimneys, roof peaks, loose screening on louvers, dormer windows or areas where flashing has pulled away from the roof or siding.Typically, bat-proofing is best after bats have migrated away in the fall.

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