An East Valley school-aged child was bit by a rabid bat recently, the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory confirmed this week.
According to a press release, the child is expected to be OK and she is receiving post-exposure treatment.
“Although it does not appear that this child was playing with the bat, every year we have school-aged children who voluntarily come into contact with bats. It is important that parents and teachers remind students never to touch a bat — dead or alive,” said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health
This is the first rabid bat confirmed in Maricopa County in 2012. In 2011, Maricopa County had five rabid animals confirmed with rabies, including three bats, one bobcat, and one javelina. It was the fewest number in more than 10 years.
“Rabies is fatal to humans once symptoms appear. Anyone who has had contact with a bat should seek medical attention right away,” the release states.
“Rabies is a prevalent disease in wildlife in Arizona and can affect pets and people. It is very important to keep your pet’s rabies vaccination current. Please contact your veterinarian to find out when the next rabies vaccination for your pet is due,” said Dr. Rodrigo Silva, director of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.