The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is reminding people to keep their pets current on vaccinations after a bat found in a Tates Creek area fireplace tested positive for rabies.
After receiving word late last week that the bat tested positive, the health department posted signs alerting residents in the area, spokesman Kevin Hall said.
There doesn’t appear to have been contact between the bat and any neighborhood animals, but health department officials ask residents to keep an eye on their pets. Changes in behavior, fever, loss of appetite and chewing at the bite location are early symptoms of rabies.
Signs of rabies in bats include activity during the day and inability to fly, according to the health department. Officials recommend against handling bats and warn that, because of bats’ sharp teeth, their bites can sometimes go undetected.
If a dead bat is found in a home and contact with people can’t be ruled out, residents are asked to call the Division of Environmental Health and Protection at 859-231-9791 for assistance in rabies testing, according to the health department.
To prevent bats from coming into homes, officials recommend examining houses for holes that might allow entry. Bats could fit in any openings larger than a quarter inch by a half inch, but common entry points are chimneys or vents and under doors, siding eaves or shingles.