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Home » News » Second Bat Tests Positive For Rabies

Second Bat Tests Positive For Rabies

June 14, 2014

By Jay Mejia

Lee’s Summit Animal Control officers recovered a second bat that has tested positive for rabies.

Authorities said there is no cause for alarm since recovering rabid bats is not unusual given that bats are so prevalent in Missouri. They urged people to avoid contact with any deceased animals or animals that appear to be sick. Residents are also reminded to keep their pets vaccinated on an annual basis.

“We impounded 50 bats last year,” said Rodney Wagner, Animal Control Manager for the City of Lee’s Summit. “Bats are common here in Lee’s Summit and they are the biggest carrier of rabies in Missouri.

The best thing is to be careful avoiding direct contact with the animal because a bite from a bat or coming into contact with their saliva can transmit rabies.”

The second bat was discovered alive but lethargic in a laundry room in a house in the 1200 block of SW Walnut Street in Lee’s Summit, about four miles away from where the first bat was found last week in a home in the 800 block of NE Chestnut St.

Animal Control took the animal to Lee’s Summit Animal Hospital, which has a contract with the city of
Lee’s Summit, where it was euthanized and sent to the Missouri State Public Health Department’s diagnostic lab for testing.

Rabies is not uncommon in Lee’s Summit, according to Dr. Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog of Lee’s Summit Animal Hospital.

“We had three bats test positive about three years ago in the Lakewood area,” Dr. Hertzog said. “We even had a horse test positive last year. We sent about 100 animals to Jefferson City last year, but few turned out to be positive.”

People are urged to be vigilant, Dr. Hertzog cautioned.

“Bats can easily come inside a house when a door or window is open,” Dr. Hertzog said. “They can see in the dark but you can’t always see them.”

Bats should not be considered necessarily a bad thing, Dr. Hertzog said. “They gobble up millions of disease-carrying mosquitoes, which is good for people.”
Both Dr. Hertzog and Animal Control Manager Wagner stressed the need for people to keep their pets current with vaccinations.

“The issue is that people are generally good about keeping their dogs current with vaccination,” Wagner said. “Most people often don’t do the same with cats, but they should. Any warm blooded-animal is susceptible to rabies.”

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