The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department received word on Thursday morning that a bat in Lexington has tested positive for rabies. The bat was discovered in a home in the Henry Clay Boulevard/Carolyn Drive area. The health department posted signs in the area on Thursday to notify residents of the discovery.
LFCHD officials continue to remind residents to make certain their pets have a current rabies vaccination. There does not appear to be any contact between neighborhood animals and the bat, but officials ask that residents keep watch on their pets. Early symptoms of rabies include a change in behavior, chewing at the bite site, fever and loss of appetite.
Bats that are active during the day or are unable to fly might be suspect for having rabies. To minimize the risk for contracting rabies, it is best never to handle any bat. Bats have very sharp teeth, and their bites might not leave identifiable marks. Therefore, contact may be unapparent. If you find a deceased bat in your home and the possibility of human exposure cannot be ruled out, contact the Division of Environmental Health and Protection at (859) 231-9791 for assistance to have the animal collected and submitted for rabies testing.
To prevent bats from entering your home carefully examine your home for holes that might allow bats entry into your living quarters. Any openings larger than a quarter-inch by a half-inch could allow for bat entry. These openings should be blocked either with stainless steel wool or caulking in the fall or winter so you do not unintentionally trap bats within your home. Common ways for bats to enter homes include down the chimney, through openings around the chimney, through vents, through openings behind shutters, under doors, under siding, under eaves and under shingles.
Rabies, a viral disease of humans, pets and wild animals, is transmitted from animals to humans by the saliva of a rabid animal, usually from a bite. State law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets maintain a current rabies vaccination.
For more information, call the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health at (859) 231-9791.