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Rabid bat found in Snohomish County

So far this year, nine bats have tested positive for rabies in Washington state.
Credit: Maren Winter - Adobe Stock

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — A rabid was found in Snohomish County on Monday.

According to the Snohomish County Health Department, multiple pets were exposed to the bat, but the owner said they were all vaccinated against rabies.

There were no known human exposures. 

It is estimated that less than 1% of bats are actually infected with rabies.

So far this year, nine bats have tested positive for rabies in Washington state, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

If you come into contact with a bat, Public Health recommends you:

  • Wash the area of your body that came into contact with the bat with soap and water
  • Call your doctor - a person exposed to rabies needs an injection of immune globulin and a series of vaccinations as soon as possible to prevent infection and death
  • Report the incident to Public Health at 206-296-4774
  • Do not get rid of the bat unless instructed otherwise, as public health officials may need to test the bat for rabies

Washington state law requires dogs, cats and ferrets to be up to date on rabies vaccinations. 

Rabies is a viral disease that infects the brain and spinal cord. It is found in the saliva of an infected animal and usually spreads by a bite or scratch. 

Symptoms normally occur between two and eight weeks after exposure. Early symptoms include headache, fever, and pain at the bite or scratch site. As the disease progresses, symptoms include agitation, confusion, paralysis, and difficulty swallowing, according to the Snohomish County Health Department,

According to Public Health, a rabies infection is almost always fatal if it goes untreated.

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