Bat in Hall County tests positive for rabies
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A bat tested positive for rabies last week in Grand Island, underlining the need for awareness of this extremely dangerous disease and for practicing care when coming into contact with wild animals.
No person is known to have come into contact with the infected animal found in Grand Island.
The bat which tested positive is one of 20 animals (17 of which were bats) to test positive for rabies in Nebraska this year. This compares to 30 cases in 2021, which is the highest count in the last 5 years according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal which attacks the central nervous system of animals causing disease in the brain which leads to death.
While bats are the primary animal associated with rabies, other wild animals such as raccoons, skunks and foxes can be infected and spread the disease.
The CDC said if you’ve been in contact with any wildlife or unfamiliar animals, particularly if you’ve been bitten or scratched, you should talk with a healthcare or public health professional to determine your risk for rabies or other illnesses. Wash any wounds immediately with soap and water and then plan to see a healthcare provider. They add that bats can leave very small puncture marks that disappear quickly. If you are unsure if you’ve been bitten by a rabid bat, seek medical advice quickly.
Treatment includes a series of shots that will protect you from developing symptoms of the disease.
CDHD and other public health agencies keep a close eye on rabies and encourage the public to educate themselves about this very serious disease.
You can learn more about rabies at our website, www.cdhd.ne.gov or at the following links:
How can you prevent rabies in people? | Prevention | CDCRabies | CDCRabies Surveillance Data (ne.gov)
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