Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Kittitas Co. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Kittitas Co.

Posted: Updated:

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. - The Kittitas County Public Health Department says a bat brought in by a community member, has tested positive for rabies. 

The health department says between 5 to 10% of bats submitted for testing are rabid, because they are usually sick and injured.  The DOH says less than 1% of healthy bats are infected with rabies.  

Bats are the primary animal carrier for rabies in the Pacific northwest, and are the most common way rabies is transmitted in Washington state.

Rabies is a severe viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is very rare for a person to get rabies, and proper treatment can prevent rabies in a person who is exposed. Without treatment, rabies is always fatal to humans. 

The health department says if you find a bat in your home, don't touch it. Wear thick or leather gloves and capture the bat in a can or box.  Seal the container and call your local health department.  The staff will help you determine if any people or pets in your home may have been exposed.