LANE COUNTY, Ore. – A bat in Lane County has tested positive for rabies, county officials said.
A South Eugene resident was in their yard at about 9 p.m. when a bat flew into them and fell to the ground after impact.
The incident was reported to Lane County Public Health, and the bat was sent to the Oregon State Veterinary Lab.
“This is the first case of bat rabies in 2020 and a good reminder to stay away from bats,” said Emilio DeBess with the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. “Also, it is a good reminder to keep your pets vaccinated for rabies to protect them and your family.”
The resident was given a rabies post-exposure treatment as a preventative measure.
Rabies is endemic in Oregon’s bat population, officials said. Data suggests transmission can occur from minor or unrecognized bites from bats. Bats are crucial to the ecosystem and should not be targeted.
To avoid exposure, keep in mind that bats primarily feed at dusk. People should avoid letting pets outside an hour before and an hour after dusk. All windows should have screens and pets should be vaccinated.
Rabies causes disease in the brain and death. Most cases reported to the CDC involve wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can contract rabies.