Rabid bats found in Portland, Beaverton | Local News
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – Health officials say rabid bats have been found recently in Multnomah and Washington counties.
The Multnomah County Health Department said Wednesday that a bat found in northeast Portland had tested positive for rabies, according to results from the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. It is the first animal to test positive for rabies in Multnomah County since September 2014.
Multnomah County has no evidence of a human case of rabies.
“Rabies is a fatal disease. Fortunately, this is rare due to the requirement for pets to be up to date on the rabies vaccine, ”said Lisa Ferguson, Director of Communicable Disease Services for Multnomah County. “Please make sure your pets are up to date with their vaccines so that they are protected. And if you see a bat, avoid it. If you think you’ve been bitten, scratched, or are concerned about contact with it. a bat, report it because you may need rabies vaccines just in time. “
The bat was discovered in northeast Portland after a dog was found playing with it. The dog is up to date on his rabies vaccine, received a rabies booster just in time, and will undergo a 45-day home quarantine.
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Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that attacks the nervous system. Symptoms of rabies in wildlife include lethargy, walking in circles, loss of muscle coordination, seizures, irritability or aggression, and disorientation.
Animals usually contract rabies from eating or coming into contact with a rabid bat. Relatively few bats in Oregon have rabies, and rabies in other wildlife is even rarer. According to the Oregon Health Authority, about 8 percent of bats tested in Oregon have rabies. So far, in 2021, another 10 bats in the state have tested positive for the virus.
But Roger Rodriguez, bat research and monitoring coordinator at Oregon State University’s Northwestern Bat Hub, said bats brought in for testing are more likely to be sick. In studies of wild bat populations, and not just bats brought in for testing, less than 1% of bats test positive for rabies.
Bats are nocturnal animals, and spotting one during the day could suggest the bat is sick. Sick bats are more likely to be sedentary, or can be seen collapsing to the ground or acting in unusual ways. If you find a sick bat or other sick wildlife on your property, take children and pets inside and do not handle the animal without protection.
Check out the CDC’s advice on how to capture a bat.
Anyone who finds a dead bat should use a disposable container with a lid to pick up the animal from the container and throw it in the trash. But if you know or suspect that the bat has been in contact with a person or a pet, the bat should be tested for rabies.
If you know your pet has encountered a bat or been bitten by a wild animal, call your veterinarian, Multnomah County Animal Services, or Multnomah County Communicable Disease Services for advice.
- Multnomah County Animal Services: 503-988-7387
- Multnomah County Communicable Disease Services: 503-988-3406
Washington County has also reported a rabid bat. A Beaverton resident found the bat in his home on September 10. The bat was euthanized and there was no human exposure. Pets may have been in contact with the bat, but they are up to date with their rabies vaccines and will receive reminders and undergo a 45-day observation period to be safe.
Washington County residents who find a bat or whose animal may have been bitten by a bat should call Washington County Public Health at 503-846-3594.
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