Rabid bat found on school grounds in Woodinville

October 4, 2017 | By | Reply More

From Public Health – Seattle & King County

A rabid bat was found on the playground of Bear Creek Elementary School in Woodinville on the morning of Monday, October 2. If you or your child had any recent contact with a bat at Bear Creek Elementary School, contact Public Health immediately for information on preventative treatment. Rabies can be life-threatening, but treatable if caught early.

A sick bat that was found on the playground of Bear Creek Elementary School in Woodinville has tested positive for rabies. The bat was found next to a bench before the start of school around 9:00 am on Monday, October 2, 2017. It was immediately removed by Northshore School District staff, who contacted Public Health – Seattle & King County. The health department received the positive rabies results from the Washington State Public Health Laboratory on October 3.

Anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk of getting rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. Fortunately, rabies can be prevented if treatment is given before symptoms appear.

“We aren’t yet aware of any students who touched the bat, but we want to be absolutely certain. If your children attend this school or play at this playground, be sure to ask them if they touched a bat,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief of Communicable Disease for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Rabies is treatable if caught early on, so identifying anyone who has had contact as soon as possible is important.”

If you or your child had any recent contact with a bat at Bear Creek Elementary, please call Public Health immediately at 206-296-4774 to get information about preventative treatment. Contact includes touching a bat, being bitten, scratched, or any other bare skin contact with a bat or its saliva.

More about rabies

Rabies is dangerous, but treatable if caught early:

  • If someone has had contact with the bat, treatment can prevent infection. This treatment should be given as soon as possible.
  • Once symptoms develop, rabies cannot be treated and leads to death in virtually all cases.

Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system that is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. The virus is found in the saliva of an animal with rabies and is usually transmitted by a bite or scratch. In Washington State, between 3-10% of bats tested for rabies are positive, though the bats that are tested are usually sick or injured; less than 1% of healthy bats are infected with rabies
Because rabies is a life threatening disease, medical advice must be sought promptly if a bat comes into contact with humans or animals.

More about bats

Bats flying overhead, and bats that have not had direct contact with humans or animals, do not pose a risk for transmitting rabies. Healthy bats will avoid people, so be suspicious of a bat you find inside your home or on the ground.

If you find a bat inside your house, call Public Health at 206-296-4774 to discuss the situation and to determine whether the bat needs to be tested for rabies. Public Health tests bats for rabies free of charge under certain circumstances.

For more information about bats and rabies, and to view a video on how to safely catch a bat in your home, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/bats


Category: Animal Health, Rabies

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