State health officials offer tips to reduce rabies exposure


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) It’s the time of year when bats become more active and state health officials are reminding people about the potential for rabies exposure.

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system in humans, pets and wild animals. A person may contract rabies through a bite, scratch or saliva from an infected animal.

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If untreated, rabies is fatal.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, while rabies in humans is rare in the U.S. (usually only one or two human cases per year), the most common source of human rabies in the U.S. is from bats, according to health officials.

The last case of human rabies in Kentucky from a bat was in 1996.

Health officials say, if you find a bat in your home, call your local animal control office to collect the bat.

Other tips to prevent rabies:

  1. Do not touch a bat!
  2. Teach your children: Do not touch a bat!
  3. Keep your pets vaccinated.
  4. Do not interact or attract wildlife.
  5. Do not put food outside for wildlife and keep pet food covered.
  6. Talk to your healthcare provider about preventive shots if you believe you have been exposed to rabies.

For more information on bats and the potential to contract rabies.