A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services biologist holds a little brown bat. Ann Froschauer/USFWS

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services biologist holds a little brown bat. Ann Froschauer/USFWS

Rabid bat found near Woodinville

County health officials urge anyone who may have been exposed to the bat to seek treatment.

Health officials are urging anyone who had contact with a bat at Hollywood Hills Equestrian Park on June 23 or 24 to seek medical attention for information on rabies treatment.

A rabid bat was found near the Woodinville horse arena’s seating area and was noticed on June 24 when it was captured and taken to a wildlife center. The bat began showing signs of rabies and was euthanized on July 5 and tested positive for rabies the following day, according to a press release from the Seattle and King County Public Health department.

Rabies is a viral disease that is spread through an infected animal’s saliva. Any warm-blooded animal can become infected and in North America it is generally spread by infected bats who bite people. People who are exposed to saliva in any way may also be at risk if it was ingested.

Once someone is infected, the rabies virus slowly migrates from the bite location to the brain, where it rapidly multiplies and causes swelling. Symptoms generally appear two to eight weeks after exposure. If rabies is treated before symptoms appear, the survival rate is near 100 percent. However, once symptoms appear, the disease is almost always fatal.

While older treatments involved a series of painful shots to the bellybutton, modern treatments can be completed with a much less intensive series of shots.

Pets are also susceptible to the virus, though dogs, cats and ferrets in Washington state are required to be vaccinated against rabies. The disease is rare in the U.S. and since 1990 the number of reported human cases has ranged from one to seven annually, according to the state Department of Health. There have been 10 bats that have tested positive for rabies statewide in 2018.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, rabid dog bites account for 99 percent of human rabies deaths worldwide, largely concentrated in developing countries with inadequate public health systems. In the U.S., bats are the primary cause of human infections.

Bats flying overhead that don’t come into direct contact with humans or animals don’t pose a risk for transmitting the disease and healthy bats will avoid people. The county department of Public Health advises people to be suspicious of a bat found inside or on the ground.

If bats are found inside, call Public Health to see if the bat needs to be tested. If the bat is alive, don’t let it escape. Knock it to the floor with a broom and trap it with a garbage can and scoop it into a box or plastic storage container with a secure lid without touching it, or while wearing heavy leather gloves. Dead bats should be placed in a box for testing. It’s estimated that less than 1 percent of wild bats have rabies but 10 percent of bats that are captured for testing have the disease.

Bats have small teeth, so people who have been bitten may not realize it and the bite may not leave a mark. Rabies treatment should be undertaken if a bat is found in a room with a child or someone who is sleeping, mentally or physically challenged or intoxicated.

More in News

Despite concerns, homelessness authority moves toward final Seattle vote

Seattle’s homelessness committee aligned the city’s plan with King County’s.

King County’s current climate action plan was adopted in 2015 and has provided a blueprint for reducing emissions and preparing for climate change. File photo
King County approves environmental justice provision

An update to the King County climate action plan should include an… Continue reading

Homelessness authority approved by King County, awaits Seattle vote

The agreement would consolidate emergency services for people experiencing homelessness.

The King County Courthouse is located at 516 Third Ave. in downtown Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Council approves $600,000 to increase security at King County Courthouse

The funding will be split evenly between increasing deputies, security and social services.

Thompson beats Henderson by five votes in Bothell City Council race

Recount results from Snohomish County came in earlier this week.

Victims, law enforcement speak about King County Courthouse conditions

An entrance to the courthouse was closed after an assault.

In this September 2019 photo, George Kirkish, owner and founder of Palouse Winery on Vashon-Maury Island, pours a glass of wine for Lori Coots during tasting room hours. (Kevin Opsahl/Sound Publishing)
King County Council approves controversial winery, brewery ordinance

After five years, the county has updated regulations surrounding alcohol production and tasting.

NSD buses. File photo
Bothell increases school impact fees

Fees benefit the Northshore School District.

Most Read