County Health Officials Advise Residents to Steer Clear of Bats
For Immediate Release Wednesday, June 13, 2012
As people spend more time outdoors with the arrival of summer, Washington County Public Health officials are reminding residents of the potential dangers of bats and rabies.
"Only about 10% of bats tested in Oregon are positive for rabies," says Dr. Jennifer Vines, Deputy Health Officer for Washington County. "Nonetheless, we are advising people never to touch or handle a bat. It's also important to keep your dogs and cats up to date on their rabies vaccinations."
A Gaston woman was recently bitten by a bat that tested positive for rabies as she removed the bat from her dog's mouth. She was given an antibody injection and is currently midway through the rabies vaccine series. Her dog, while up to date on its rabies vaccine, is being quarantined for 45 days as a precautionary measure.
This is the first report of a rabid bat in Washington County in 2012. Since 2000, there have only been five reports of rabid bats.
If a bat bites you, call your health care provider immediately. If a bat is found on your property, keep children and pets away and contact Washington County Environmental Health at 503-846-8388. If your pet encounters a bat or is bitten by a wild animal, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Contact:Wendy Gordon, Dept. Communications Coordinator