A bat was discovered near the restrooms along Lakeland Avenue in Olbrich Park in Madison and according to Public Health Madison and Dane County, it tested positive for rabies.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported, the city-county health department said, that this is the second bat in Dane County, and the fourth in Wisconsin, to test positive for rabies this year.
Health officials also said, those who are suspecting they have had contact with a bat could consult their doctors. According to environmental health supervisor John Hausbeck, bats have small teeth, which leaves tiny marks that disappear fast.
In a statement, the health official specifically said this makes it difficult to find out for sure, if it bit an individual at all. If someone is waiting until he starts seeing signs and symptoms of rabies, added Hausbeck, he has likely waited quite long.
Importance of Reporting
The city said the rabid bat was surrendered to the Wisconsin Lab of Hygiene, where it tested positive for rabies. Hausbeck said in the said release, this is a great example of the importance of reporting. He added, it is really a "matter of life and death."
The faster the presence of a bat is known, the faster health experts can get the animal tested and avoid exposure as much as possible, specifically in such a frequently-traveled place.
To date, this year, a total of seven bats tested positive for rabies in Dane County. Hauwbeck also said, as reported by WKOW 27, even though the numbers propose that the dangers of exposure may be low, it is essential to take exposure to bat bite seriously.
Since the consequences are disastrous, explained Hausebeck, it is best not to take any chances. He also advised people to get vaccinated if they are suspecting a bat bite and the bat is not available for testing.
Identifying a Rabid Bat
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rabid bats have been documented in all 49 continental states.
More so, bats are growingly implicated as essential wildlife reservoirs for rabies virus variants transferred to humans.
Recent data suggest that the transfer of rabies virus can occur from minor, apparently unessential, or unrecognized bat bites.
Human and domestic animal contact with bats needs to be minimized, and the said animals need not be handled with untrained and unvaccinated humans, or be kept as house pets.
In all circumstances of probable exposures of humans which involve bats, the bat in question needs to be safely collected if possible and surrendered for rabies diagnosis.
Essentially, the CDC said, "rabies postexposure prophylaxis" is recommended for all people with scratch, bite, or mucous membrane exposure to a bat, unless the latter is available for testing and is negative for rabies evidence.
Furthermore, postexposure prophylaxis needs to be considered when direct contact between a bat and a human has taken place.
In occurrences in which a bat is discovered outdoors and there is no history of contact between bats and humans, the possible effectiveness of postexposure prophylaxis needs to be balanced against the low-risk such exposures seem to exhibit.
Related information is shown on King 5's YouTube video below:
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