Bat found in home near Cottage Grove tests positive for rabies

The rabid bat is the 10th found in Oregon this year. This map does not yet reflect the Lane County bat. (OHA)

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - A bat found in a rural Lane County home has tested positive for rabies, Lane County said Thursday.

The bat was found in a home outside Cottage Grove.

The Oregon State University Veterinarian Laboratory confirmed the bat had rabies.

This is the 10th bat to test positive for rabies in Oregon this year but the first in Lane County.

A bat and a cat tested positive for rabies in Lane County in 2017. The cat had to be put down.

And cats found playing with a dead rabid bat in 2014 in Lane County had to be quarantined.

Public Health Warning

"Do not approach bats, wildlife, or other mammals seen exhibiting odd behavior," the county said in a statement.

Instead, bring children and pets inside and call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at (866) 968-2600.

"Authorities emphasize the main protection for humans is to make sure pets are vaccinated and avoid contact with stray animals and wildlife," according to the county. "Public health officials advise taking extreme precautions before attempting to handle a bat. If it is necessary to pick up a bat, it is best to wear heavy gloves, use a shovel or both."

But what should you do if a bat bites or scratches you?

"An attempt should be made to safely capture the bat for testing for the rabies virus. Efforts should be made to collect the bat without destroying the head and the bat should be kept in a cool place," the county said. "After any bat bites or scratches, immediately seek medical attention and report the incident to Lane County Environmental Health at (541) 682-4480."

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