Twelve bats test positive for rabies in Washington since August - KPTV - FOX 12

Twelve bats test positive for rabies in Washington since August

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OLYMPIA, WA (KPTV) -

Twelve bats have tested positive for rabies in Washington since Aug. 1.

The August numbers are the highest in a decade, according to the Washington Environmental Public Health Division, and bring the total number of rabid bats this year to 21.

Health workers said the number of bats submitted for testing in August was higher than in prior years.

“Whether the rise is due to increased public awareness or other factors is not clear,” according to the Environmental Public Health Division. “What is clear is that many members of the public are doing the right thing: Alerting local health officials if a family member or pet encounters a bat.”

Anyone who believes a family member or pet has had contact with a bat – dead or alive – should not touch the bat and call the local health department for the next steps.

In 2016, 20 rabid bats were identified in Washington. There were nine identified in 2015.

The Washington State Public Health laboratory tests upward of 300 bats per hear.  

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