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First rabid bat reported within Chippewa County

The Chippewa County Department of Public Health is alerting the public, regarding a recent report of a bat testing positive for rabies in Chippewa County. The bat was submitted for testing, following an encounter with a human.

This is the first rabid bat in the county this year. Last year, Chippewa County had two bats test positive.

The public is advised to adhere to the following:

• Check a pet’s vaccination histories and update as necessary. Keep vaccine records and note type of vaccine (oneyear or three-year duration).

• Do not keep wild or exotic animals as pets.

• Do not handle wild animals.

• Teach children not to approach strange animals, including others’ pets.

• If someone gets bitten or scratched, wash the wound immediately with liberal amounts of soap and water, and report to a local physician, a local public health department during business hours or local law enforcement after hours.

• Any exposure (bite or non-bite) to bats should be discussed as soon as possible with a physician or local health department.

• If a pet has been in a fight with a wild animal, contact a veterinarian and local health department.

Animals reported with rabies in Wisconsin, in the last 10 years, include skunks, bats, cows, dogs, cats, horses, foxes and raccoons. Wild animals at particular risk, particularly skunks and bats, often expose domestic/farm animals.

Most exposures to humans or animals, occur through a bite or scratch of a rabid animal.

For more information regarding rabies in animals, contact Chippewa County Department of Public Health, at 715-726-7900.