Bat in Clackamas County tests positive for rabies
According to a Sept. 28 news release, the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed that a bat from Clackamas County tested positive for rabies on Sept. 21.
The bat was found at a private residence in rural Estacada, said Clackamas County Health Officer Dr. Sarah Present, who couldn't give a more precise location due to privacy concerns. Present said there was no bite or direct exposure to the bat that would put anyone at risk for getting rabies from this bat.
The homeowner's dog is up to date on rabies vaccination, but is still being closely monitored for 45 days per public health protocol in case of any unwitnessed exposures. If the dog had not been current on its vaccinations, more extreme monitoring or even euthanasia would need to be considered.
"Because there is a risk of bats transmitting rabies to people and their pets, it is important to avoid touching animals that appear sick and to keep pets (including dogs, cats, and ferrets) current on their rabies vaccinations," Present said.
Public health officials recommends the following steps to safeguard community members, families and pets:
• Vaccinate your pets, including animals that are being fed on the property, like feral cats. However, feeding wild or feral animals is not recommended.
• Do not handle a live or dead bat. Call a professional wildlife removal service. A bat seen during daylight hours is likely ill and should be avoided.
• Seal openings to attics, basements, porches, sheds, barns and chimneys.
• Feed pets indoors.
• Keep garbage in secure containers away from wildlife.
• If your pet comes into contact with a bat, take it to a veterinarian.
• If you are scratched or bitten by a bat, immediately wash the affected area with soap and running water for at least five minutes and seek medical attention. If the bat that caused the bite wound is available, it may be considered for rabies testing if the head is still intact.
• Contact the Clackamas County Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Program at 503-655-8411 to report the bite and discuss bat testing.
For more information, visit clackamas.us/publichealth/rabies.html or call 503-655-8411.