Onondaga County Interim Commissioner of Health, Michelle Mignano, announced today that the New York State Health Department laboratory has reported that a bat found in the City of Syracuse has tested positive for rabies. This is the first positive rabies findings of the season.
Mignano says “It is important to bat-proof your home now to keep bats out of your house and away from you and your family.” Bats are generally most active between the months of May and August but are already out and more active.
· To bat proof your home, plug up any holes discovered with steel wool. Also, repair window screen holes with wire mesh and caulk any other openings or cracks.
· If your family (or your pet) has been exposed to a bat, capture the bat and have it tested for rabies. If someone is bitten by a bat, be certain to wash the area where the bite occurred with soap and water and see your health care provider immediately.
· If you awaken to find a bat in your room, or a bat is present in the room of an unattended or sleeping child, or in a room with someone with a mental impairment, seek medical advice and have the bat tested.
· Trap all bats found in your house and make sure that all bats that come into direct contact with people get tested. Before trapping the bat, protect yourself with gloves and a hat.