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Posted on: August 21, 2017

Health Department urges residents to be aware of bats

bat

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has received an increased number of calls regarding bats.

If residents see a bat — dead or alive — inside a home or an apartment, it is important to contact the Health Department at 785-843-3060 and ask for a Communicable Disease staff member for guidance.

Bats have small teeth that may leave marks not easily seen. Although many people know if a bat has bitten them, there are certain circumstances when a person might not be aware or able to tell if a bite has occurred. For example:

  • If a person awakes to find a bat in the room
  • If you find a bat in a room with an unattended child
  • If you see a bat near a person with a disability
  • If a person is intoxicated

When it cannot be ruled out that the bat is free from rabies and an exposure has occurred, a series of vaccinations can prevent infection. It is important to get these vaccinations as soon as possible after exposure because rabies is a fatal disease.

“The most common way for people in the United States to get rabies is through contact with a bat,” Kim Ens, director of Clinic Services at the Health Department, said. “We can’t emphasize enough the importance of safely capturing the bat, having the bat tested and seeking medical advice.”

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