We are approaching that time of the year when bats begin to seek shelter in homes to keep warm at night.
This week a bat found in the Dundee area tested positive for rabies. The Douglas County Health Department says anyone who is exposed to a rabid bat should go to a local emergency room as soon as possible.
The Douglas County Health Department recommends rabies treatment:
* If a bat is found in any room with a sleeping person or an adult witnesses a bat in the room of an unattended child, mentally disabled person or intoxicated person, the Nebraska Humane Society should be contacted and the bat should be tested for rabies. For this reason it is important to keep an eye on the bat until animal control officers arrive. If the bat is positive, the individual needs to be treated.
* If the bat is not tested, it would be recommended that the potentially exposed person receive rabies post-exposure prophylaxis.
Anyone with questions is urged to call the Douglas County Health Department Epidemiology Section at (402) 444-7214.
The best option is to keep bats out of your home. You can begin to “bat-proof” a home by closing any openings larger than a quarter-inch by a half-inch. To do this, caulk the opening or use window screens, chimney caps, or stainless steel wool. Outside entry points are especially important to cover. Doors to the outside should be kept tightly closed.
In the past week the Nebraska Humane Society fielded more than 100 calls about bats. Anyone who finds a bat in their home should call The Nebraska Humane Society at 402-444-7800, Extension 1. A laboratory test is needed to confirm if a bat has rabies.