A bat found in a Chenault Road residence has tested positive for rabies, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department said in an alert Friday.
Rabies can be transmitted between animals and to humans by saliva, according to the health department. State law requires that dogs, cats and ferrets have up-to-date vaccines against the viral disease.
Chenault Road is off of Tates Creek Road as it turns into East High Street near downtown.
Symptoms of rabies in animals can include behavior changes, fever, loss of appetite and chewing at the bite site, according to the health department. In bats, activity during the day and inability to fly are possible signs of rabies.
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To keep bats out of homes, Lexington residents are encouraged to examine their houses for holes that might allow them to enter, according to the health department. Bats can fit through spaces as small as a quarter-inch by a half-inch. The department recommends using steel wool or caulking to block the holes in the fall or winter, so as to avoid trapping bats inside.
Bats are known to get inside residences through chimneys, vents, openings behind shutters, under doors, under siding, under eaves and under shingles, according to the health department. If a dead bat is found inside a residence and human or animal exposure cannot be ruled out, residents are asked to call the Division of Environmental Health and Protection at 859-231-9791.