A bat found in Bingham County has tested positive for rabies, according to Southeastern Idaho Public Health.
Public Health officials said it was the first bat in the state confirmed to be rabid this year. Last year, a dozen bats in Idaho tested positive for rabies.
While most bats do not carry rabies, rabies is a virtually 100 percent fatal viral illness in humans and other animals.
To protect yourself and your pets, never touch bats with your bare hands, and be very suspicious of bat activity during daylight hours. Consult your medical provider if your child wakes up in the presence of a bat, and seek medical attention immediately if you have an encounter with a bat. Save the bat in a container for testing, but use gloves and a towel when handling the bat.
Make certain that household pets are current on vaccinations against rabies. If your dog or cat brings a dead bat home, collect it in a plastic bag without touching it and call your district health department for possible testing. Also, contact your veterinarian to make sure your animal’s rabies vaccinations are up-to-date.
Check the chimneys, roof peaks, loose screening on louvers, dormer windows or areas where flashing has pulled away from the roof or siding to protect your home from bats, which can enter through quarter-sized holes.