Moses Lake, WA— On August 8th a bat from Grant County was submitted to the Washington State Public Health Laboratory for rabies testing after biting a local resident. The bat tested positive for rabies. The rabid bat was collected from the residence of the bite victim in the Moses Lake area by GCHD staff. The bite occurred after the bat was accidentally disturbed from underneath a boat cover. A quick internet search by the family instructed them to capture the bat and contact local public health for rabies testing. The bite victim is currently receiving the anti-rabies vaccine series and is doing well. No other individuals were exposed to the bat.
Grant County Health Officer, Dr. Alexander Brzezny, had this to say about the family’s response to the incident: “The steps taken by the family were exemplary and allowed for a timely testing and treatment administration. We very much appreciate their cooperation.”
This is the first rabid bat identified in Grant County in over 15 years. In the wild, less than 1% of bats have rabies. Rabid bats have also been identified in Chelan and Spokane Counties this year. The last two cases of human rabies identified in Washington were in 1995 and 1997. Within the last 25 years, 4 domestic animals in Washington have been diagnosed with rabies. All cats, dogs and ferrets in Washington must be vaccinated against rabies.