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The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has received an increase in the number of calls regarding bats. Additionally, the Kansas Departments of Health and Environment and Wildlife, Parks and Tourism have, too.
“Contact with bats is a concern because their teeth are so tiny that a bite may not be felt or even leave a noticeable mark. That is why it is important to speak with someone who can evaluate your situation for potential exposure to rabies,” said Dr. Ingrid Garrison, state public health veterinarian at KDHE.
Rabies is a fatal viral disease in mammals, including people. Infection with the rabies virus can occur from a bite by a rabid animal or when saliva from a rabid animal comes into contact with the eyes, inside the mouth, or a fresh, open wound. In Kansas, skunks are the animal that most commonly tests positive for rabies.
It is important to call your health care provider or the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at 785-843-0721 if you have had any contact with a bat and if a bat is found in the room of a sleeping person, unattended child, or anyone who is unable to tell you about the encounter.