A bat in Onondaga County has tested positive for rabies, according to Interim Health Commissioner Michelle Mignano. Mignano says the bat was found in Syracuse. It's the first positive rabies sample of the season.
"It is important to bat-proof your home now to keep bats out of your house and away from you and your family," Mignano said. "Bats are generally most active between the months of May and August but are already out and more active."
There are steps you can take to keep bats out. That includes plugging holes in your home and repairing window screen holes. Officials also suggest that if your family or pet has been exposed to a bat, catch the bat and have it tested for rabies. If you or someone is bitten by a bat, wash the area with soap and water and call your doctor immediately. Any bats that come into contact with people should get tested for rabies. Before trapping the bat, protect yourself with gloves and a hat.
To trap a bat, health officials say keep the bat isolated in a room. Turn the lights on to slow the bat. You can watch a video from the health department on capturing a bat or call the Onondaga County Health Department's Animal Disease Control at 435-3165.
Health officials say i t is also important to keep your pet's vaccinations current to help stop the spread of rabies from animals to humans.
The Health Department says it will be offering three rabies shot clinics at the following locations in May:
- Thursday, May 1st from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Clay Highway Garage on Route 31 in Clay.
- Monday, May 12th from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Manlius Recreation Center on Stickley Drive in Manlius.
- Tuesday, May 20th from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the SPCA on East Molloy Road in Mattydale.