July 11, 2019–12:45 p.m.
A confirmed animal rabies case in Cherokee County, Alabama.
The rabid bat was found in the area of Quail Run Drive in Cedar Bluff, according to Cherokee County Animal Control Officer Dustin Dutton.
“There were four children who were exposed because they were handling the bat,” he said. “People need to be aware that they should not handle wildlife and they need to contact us if they find something acting lethargic or they have concerns about. Regardless of the species, all animals can be a carrier of the rabies virus.”
Anyone who handles a bat should contact a medical provider immediately.
Bats are considered to have a higher risk for rabies transmission to humans than other wildlife due to their small teeth that can puncture the skin.
Their bites are often somewhat painless and may not leave characteristic bite wounds.
“Be sure that pets have been updated every year for the rabies vaccine,” Dutton added. “Just keep an eye on everything and be aware of your surroundings. Because it can happen.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) just this week issued a reminder about the potential dangers of handling bats.
Bats, along with raccoons are the primary reservoirs for rabies in Alabama. Rabies is a viral infection in mammals that is transmitted by bites, scratches, or other contact with infected saliva.
(Centers for Disease Control photo)