SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) said Friday it has identified the first rabid bat in Clark County since 2016.
The rabid bat was found in the Ridgewood Neighborhood in Springfield.
Rabies is a serious disease that is caused by a virus. Bats are the most common carriers of rabies but other wild animals may also be carriers of the disease.
Health officials say the presence of one affected animal in the area means that local residents should be concerned about the possibility of more and take the proper precautions. The CCCHD has a standing order in place that mandates all dogs and cats be vaccinated for rabies and it is recommended that humans and domestic animals stay clear of all wildlife.
Bats have been the only animal to test positive for rabies in Clark County since 2005 and officials say it is important to understand the risks associated with bat encounters.
Examples of situations where there is a probability of rabies exposure:
- Bat found in a room with a sleeping person.
- Bat found in proximity to an unattended child who is not able to describe what happened.
- Bat found in a room with an individual under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with other sensory or mental impairment.
Officials warn if you feel you have been exposed to a bat, please seek immediate medical attention at a local emergency room and explain to them that you may have been exposed to a bat.
Experts say it is always best to capture the bat so that it can be tested. If you do not feel that you can capture the bat, please contact either a wildlife specialist or the CCCHD. The CCCHD can only test bats that have had a potential exposure to humans and pets.
Do not take a captured bat into urgent care or the emergency room; they do not test bats for rabies. Please contact the CCCHD to make arrangements to deliver the bat or have the bat picked up for testing.
For more information contact the Clark County Combined Health District at 937-390-5600 or go to the CCCHD website.