On Friday, August 4, Marion County Environmental Health received confirmation that a bat from the Shaw area tested positive for rabies. Bats are the most common mammals known to carry rabies in Oregon. It was reported that the bat was found in a bedroom where two adults and one child had slept. It is unknown at this time if anyone sleeping in the room was bitten and medical advice is being sought.
"Because there is a risk of bats transmitting rabies to people and their pets, it is important to keep bats from entering living spaces," says Dr. Karen Landers, Marion County Health Officer.
The following steps are recommended to keep bats from entering homes:
Examine your home for holes that may allow bats entry into your living quarters.
Close unscreened doors and windows, especially at dusk and during the night.
Repair damaged window and door screens.
Cap chimneys and place draft guards beneath doors to attics.
Seal all openings to attics, basements, or walls larger than one quarter inch by one-half inch using spray foam, caulk, wire mesh, wood, steel wool or bird netting.
To safely remove a bat from a home:
o Open doors and windows for bat to exit (best done at dusk or nightfall as bats rest during the day).
o DO NOT handle bats with bare hands; always put on leather work gloves before approaching bats.
o If bat has landed, cover with an empty metal can or wastebasket, slide cardboard or plastic underneath, so that bat is contained, and take outside to release.
o NEVER release a live bat or throw out a dead bat that has bitten, scratched or had direct contact with a person or pet or if found in the room of a sleeping person (bites or scratches may not be noticeable).
o Contact Marion County Health Department Environmental Health at (503) 588-5346 to arrange for bat testing.