Rabid Bat Found in Rattlesnake is Just One of Many in Missoula
The Missoula City-County Health Department has confirmed that a rabid bat was found in the county recently. According to infectious Disease Registered Nurse Brad Applegate, it’s just one of many found already this year.
"The first thing I want to address is that is not news," Applegate said. "We have bats in Montana and bats have rabies. This is a long history and because of this we have CDC algorithm to determine bat exposure. Yes there was a bat that was found in the Rattlesnake area that ended up testing positive for rabies. We have tested maybe about 10 bats this year and I think a little less than half of those have come back positive."
Applegate says the bat was acting unusual and looked sick. It was apparently out in broad daylight and some Rattlesnake residents called animal control.
"This serves as a good reminder for people to be bat safe, to do things like lock your windows, or at least make sure you have screens on your windows at night," Applegate said. "If you are outside and there is bat activity, you might want to reevaluate your plans. If a bat so much as brushes up against you, you are going to want to call me at the health department. We are going to determine that is probably an exposure and we are going to send you to get the rabies vaccine."
Applegate says that rabid bats are found in Missoula county “pretty much every year.”