East Wenatchee, WA – Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) confirms by laboratory testing, that a bat found in Chelan County has tested positive for rabies.
CDHD was informed by the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society Animal Control of a pet-only exposure to a bat on August 8, 2023. Animal Control retrieved the bat from a residence in Chelan County and determination was made to euthanize the bat. The bat was then submitted to Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. No people are known to have been exposed at this time.
The last rabid bat in Chelan and Douglas Counties was reported in July of 2021. Between 3-10 percent of bats submitted for laboratory-confirmed testing in Washington State are positive with rabies. Less than 1 percent of bats in the wild are positive with rabies.
Anyone who is in contact with a rabid bat is at risk for getting rabies and should seek medical evaluation immediately. Untreated rabies is almost always fatal. Never handle a bat with bare hands. Only capture bats that have had direct contact with a person or pet, or if the bat was found in the room of someone who may have had contact (420-190: Safely Capturing Bats for Rabies Testing (wa.gov)).
Additionally, it is required by Washington State Law (WAC 246-100-197) to vaccinate your pets with the rabies vaccine. Contact your local veterinarian if you believe your pet was in contact with a bat.
Contact your local health jurisdiction (CDHD if you reside in Chelan or Douglas Counties) if you or your pets have had direct contact with a bat. Your local health jurisdiction can help determine potential exposure and if the bat should be tested for rabies. More information can be found at Rabies (wa.gov)
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