• Bats serve a great purpose to the ecosystem in Washington state, but ones with rabies have been found in 5 counties this year.

  • Don't worry too much, only up to 10% of bats in the state actually have rabies.

  • Still, it's important to take precautions to protect yourself and your pets from these flying menaces.

Beware! Have Rabid Bats Been Found Your Town in WA State?

Dangerous Bats with Rabies Found in These 5 WA Counties
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A recent health alert went out to residents in Los Angeles County, California, warning residents that rabid bats were on the loose from now until the end of September. Bats serve a great purpose to the ecosystem, so I don't want to give all bats a bad name. In fact, Washington state needs bats. Hear me out!

Bats help eat all those bugs that bite us, like mosquitos. They had me at "they eat mosquitos." Plus, they look cool and creepy when they fly in bunches on a crisp autumn night. Some of those bats, however, carry a deadly and dangerous virus that most of us know as Rabies.

When I was a kid, we used to do this thing on the playground:

“Circle, Circle. Dot, dot, dot. Now I’ve got my Cooties Shot.”

Some of us did this for rabies, too, and we thought we were safe from rabid animals because we were because we didn’t know any better. Bless our little hearts. LOL.

BATS OUTTA HELL, AKA, MY KINDERGARTEN NIGHTMARES

Bats. They look cute to me now, but wow, they used to give me so much fear when I was in kindergarten in my Tennessee hometown. That’s because a mean little boy in my kindergarten class named Clay told me that he was “a REAL vampire.” He said that he didn’t like me, so he was going to wait for me outside my window every time it rained to scare me. M. L. B. Clay tormented me frequently by telling me that he couldn’t wait to bite me. He also told me not to tell my parents or he would bite them, too!

Hey, I was only 5 years old, so I believed him with all my heart! I was terrified of him. Every time there was a severe thunderstorm that year, I would stare at my window (that had no curtains), and cry under my covers because I was so scared to tell my parents that Clay the Mean Human Vampire Boy was going to come through my window and kill us all.

All of these years later, I look back and laugh at the memories, but deep down, I hope Clay has had a terrible life since then and that if he has kids, they leave sharp Legos in the hallway and he steps on them in the middle of the night, I hope Clay is doing well.

 Ways to Battle Dangerous Rabid Bats in WA

1 . Stay away from all bats, unless you’re The Joker.

via GIPHY

These rabid bats pose a health danger to your pets, like dogs, cats, and ferrets, so it’s important that they get their rabies shots, especially if they are indoor/outdoor pets. The WA State Dept. of Health provides rabid bats updates to the public every week on Thursdays here.

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In 2022, all counties in Washington tested bats for rabies with the exception of Ferry, Lincoln, Adams, Garfield, Columbia, Walla Walla, Skamania, Wahkiakum, and San Juan Island Counties. 217 bats in the following counties were tested during 2022, and 8 of the test results came back positive for rabies: Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Mason, Okanogan, Snohomish, Thurston.

THE GOOD NEWS

Fortunately, only up to 10% of bats in Washington state actually have rabies.
TIL

Things I learned today:

Veterinarians are required by law to report all cases of any discovered animal with rabies to the WA State Veterinarian (currently Dr. Amber Itle)

WA Counties Where Dangerous Rabid Bats Have Been Found in 2023

Webster's Dictionary defines Rabies (Lyssavirus) as a "virus usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal and that is characterized typically by increased salivation, abnormal behavior, and eventual paralysis and death when untreated."

 

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