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Rabid bat found in downtown Boise, officials urge taking precautions

bats
Posted at 12:04 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 14:04:59-04

BOISE, Idaho — A bat found on a downtown Boise sidewalk tested positive for rabies, Central District Health officials announced Friday.

The bat was found on Bannock Street across from Cecil D. Andrus Park on July 26. CDH officials say reports suggest two other dead bats were seen in the same area last week.

"If you handled a bat in the downtown Boise area in the last week, it is important that you contact your primary care provider immediately to discuss the situation and determine if rabies shots are warranted,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Leslie Tengelsen in a statement. “Bat bites are extremely small and hard to see, so if there is any chance you handled a bat near the park, talk to your healthcare provider. If your pet picked up a bat near the park, even if currently vaccinated against rabies, talk to your veterinarian about getting your pet a rabies booster.”

Anyone who had an encounter with a bat on a sidewalk near the park is asked to call 208-375-5211 to speak with a Central District Health epidemiologist. Dead bats can also be reported to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game at 208-465-8465.

CDH officials say to take the following precautions to stay safe:

  • Do not touch a bat with your bare hands. Be very suspicious of any bat behaving oddly or found on the ground.
  • If you come into contact with a bat, seek medical attention.
  • Save the bat in a container while using thick gloves or another method to transfer it into a container without touching it.
  • Contact your public health district to arrange for rabies testing.
  • Always vaccinate your pets, including cats. Pets may encounter bats outdoors or in the home.
  • Bat-proof your home or cabin and maintain tight-fitting screens on windows. Bats can enter through holes the size of a quarter. Typically, bat-proofing is best accomplished after most bats have migrated away in the fall.