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Do not forget to keep your pets RABIES VACCINATIONS up to date!

A bat from an Alda Parkway home in the northeast part of Brunswick tested positive for rabies May 16, Medina County Health Department officials reported.

The MCHD sent the bat to the Ohio Department of Health laboratory in Columbus May 15. A family pet had reportedly been exposed to the bat.

It's the second rabid bat case of the year in the county. In March, an infected bat was found in a Medina city home. Rabies cases generally occur every one to three years in Medina County.

Rabies is common in bat populations in Ohio. Generally, 4 to 5 percent of all bats test positive for rabies.

MCHD officials stress the importance of keeping bats out of homes to limit exposure. If a bat is in a house, officials say, it should be captured and the health department notified. Do not release the bat.

While attempting to catch a bat that has entered a home:

  • Wear gloves and avoid direct skin contact with the bat.
  • Avoid harming the bat head.
  • Keep the bat in one room. Close windows, room doors and closet doors.
  • Turn on lights if the room is dark and wait for the bat to land.
  • Cover the bat with a coffee can or similar container. Slide a piece of cardboard under the can to trap the bat and tape the cardboard tightly to the can.
  • If necessary, use a net or long pole with a piece of duct tape (sticky side out) to capture the bat. Do not use a glue board to capture the bat as this affects the rabies test. Do not drown the bat as this also affects the rabies test.

The MCHD can also provide a list of licensed animal control professionals. If any humans or pets are exposed to a bat, immediately contact the Medina County Health Department at 330-723-9523 or toll-free at 1-888-723-9688. If a pet is exposed to a bat, contact a veterinarian to check the pet’s rabies vaccination status and find out if a booster shot is recommended.

Rabies information is available by visiting the ODH website at www.odh.ohio.gov/odhPrograms/dis/zoonoses/rabies/rab1.aspx, the Medina County Health Department website at www.medinahealth.org, or by contacting the Medina County Health Department Environmental Division at 330-723-9523 or toll-free at 1-888-723-9688.

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