By Gary Budzak
A second bat in the county has tested positive for rabies, the Delaware General Health District (DGHD) has announced.
“Bats do not commonly carry rabies. However any bat that is active by day, is found in a place where bats are not usually seen or is unable to fly is far more likely than others to be rabid,” DGHD spokeswoman Traci Whittaker told The Gazette.
The second bat was found dead May 27 on North Franklin Street. The first dead bat was found April 29 on Granville Street in Sunbury. The Ohio Department of Health said both tested positive for rabies.
“Transmission of rabies virus usually begins when infected saliva of a host is passed to an uninfected animal,” Whittaker said. “The most common mode of rabies virus transmission is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host. This is how a dog would get rabies.”
The DGHD said the occupants of each home were advised to consult their physician about potential exposure to the bat, even if there was no bite. Residents should make sure their pets have rabies vaccinations and should avoid contact with wild animals that are behaving strangely.
In a statement, the DGHD said, “If you find a bat inside your home, shut it inside an unoccupied room. Approach it slowly while wearing heavy gloves and place a box or coffee can over it. Slide a piece of cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside. Tape the cardboard to the container securely, and punch holes in the cardboard, allowing the bat to breath. Contact the Health District to make arrangements for rabies testing.”
For more information, call the DGHD at 740-368-1700 or visit delawarehealth.org.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-363-1161 ext. 340 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.