CLAY COUNTY, Mo. — A bat found recently in Clay County has tested positive for rabies, according to the Clay County Public Health Center.
The bat was sent to the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory, which confirmed the positive test.
“It is important to remember to avoid contact with wild animals, especially bats and skunks, as they can carry rabies even if they do not appear sick,” said Ashley Wegner, Health, Planning and Policy Chief with Clay County Public Health.
She encourages anyone who believes they have been exposed to a rabid animal to seek immediate medical attention.
Rabies is a viral infection of the central nervous system that can be spread through a bite or saliva of an infected animal. It’s almost always fatal if left untreated.
Clay County health officials recommend making sure all of your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. They recommend not letting your pets run loose.
If you are in contact with a wild animal, wash your hands with soap and water. If you seen an animal exhibiting strange behavior, report it to your local animal control agency.
When it comes to bats, the Clay County Public Health Center cautions that their small teeth may not always leave obvious bite marks. Anyone who may have come into contact with a bat is advised to seek medical treatment.