Moses Lake children treated for rabies after coming into contact with bats

Tri-City HeraldMay 23, 2013 

— Some Moses Lake children are receiving precautionary rabies treatment after coming into contact with several dead bats.

The kids, who are relatives, were found playing with the bats, the Grant County Health District said in a news release.

It’s unclear if the bats carried the rabies virus because they were too damaged to be tested, the release said.

Another Mid-Columbia child -- an 11-month-old -- was treated after she was bitten twice by a rabid bat earlier this month while on the deck at her grandparents’ Pasco home.

“The Grant County Health District wants to remind residents to never touch bats. You should seek immediate medical attention if you are bitten by, or come into direct contact with a bat,” the news release said. Residents should call the health district if they find one in their living space, the release said.

“This is also a good reminder for residents to ‘bat proof’ your home by making sure open windows have screens and that other small entry points -- such as cracks, crevices, or holes -- are sealed,” it said.

There have been two human cases of rabies in Washington in the last two decades, the news release said.

Bats are the primary animal carriers in this region, and the illness is usually spread to people through bites or scratches, the release said.

“Rabies can also be spread if the virus comes into contact with eyes, nose, respiratory tract, open cuts or wounds,” the release said.

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