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Avoiding bat bites

Never touch bats with bare hands. Be suspicious of bat activity during daylight hours - it could indicate illness in the bat.

If you find a bat in your room when you wake up, call Clark County Public Health at (360) 397-8182 to discuss the likelihood of your exposure to a bat bite or scratch. What may seem insignificant to you might turn out to be serious enough for testing and treatment. Bats will be accepted for testing only if a human exposure is involved.

If you know for certain you have been bitten or scratched by a bat, seek medical attention immediately. Wear gloves, and capture or transfer the bat into a container, and call Clark County Public Health for instructions. The state public health laboratory tests bats at no charge if the bat has possibly exposed a human to rabies.

Always vaccinate your pets, including dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, and rodents. If your pet finds a dead bat, collect the bat in a plastic bag as you would pick up dog droppings - no bare hand contact. Call public health for current recommendations, and call your veterinarian to be sure your pet's rabies vaccination is current. Animals exposed to possibly rabid bats must be confined for 45 days if vaccinated, and up to 6 months if not vaccinated.

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Spanish contact information

(360) 397-8000 ext. 7205

Russian contact information

(360) 397-8000 ext. 7214