Fayette County

Rabid bat found in Lexington neighborhood; new warning issued

A big brown bat flies with a beetle in its mouth in this undated photo. The most common species of bat in the United States, the brown can be rabid but has rarely been linked with human cases of rabies.
A big brown bat flies with a beetle in its mouth in this undated photo. The most common species of bat in the United States, the brown can be rabid but has rarely been linked with human cases of rabies. AP

A rabid bat was found in the Chevy Chase neighborhood, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department warned Tuesday.

The health department said in a news release that “there does not appear to be any human exposure,” and the bat is not thought to have come in contact with any animals. But the health department said people who live in the area should keep an eye on pets just in case.

Signs have been posted in Chevy Chase to warn residents.

It’s the second time a rabid bat has been found in a Lexington neighborhood in the past few weeks. The health department issued a warning in the Gardenside neighborhood on Aug. 23.

The health department said that if you have found a bat in your home and can’t rule out the possibility of human exposure, call the department’s Division of Environmental Health and Protection at 859-231-9791. The department will help with collecting the animal so that it can be tested for rabies.

People should never handle bats, which the health department said can enter homes through openings just a quarter of an inch by half an inch. Holes of that size should be blocked with steel wool or caulk in the fall or winter.

Bats can also get in through chimneys; vents and openings behind shutters; and by coming in under doors, siding, eves and shingles.

A bat that is active during the day or can’t fly might be rabid.

Dogs, cats and ferrets are required by state law to be vaccinated against the rabies virus. Signs of possible exposure to rabies include chewing at the site of the bite, behavioral changes, fever and loss of appetite, the health department said.

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