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Utah confirms first rabid bat of the season

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
To keep bats out of your home, seal any cracks and gaps where bats can get into your home. If you know you have bats in your home, work with a local expert to find ways to keep bats out or contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Services.

Utah health officials are warning Utahns to avoid contact with bats and other wildlife after a bat found earlier this month tested positive for the virus.

The Department of Health and Human Services says bats are the primary carrier of rabies in Utah.

The rabid bat was found in Washington County but the animals live across the state and can carry the virus with them.

Last year, by the end of July, four bats had tested positive for rabies, one in Kane County, two in Salt Lake County and one in Davis County.

The rabies virus affects the nervous system and is transmitted through bites, scratches and saliva from infected animals.

Signs of rabies include obvious changes in normal behavior like aggression, foaming at the mouth, no interest in food or water, staggering and paralysis.

However, by the time symptoms present, the virus is often fatal. Anyone who may have come in contact with an infected animal should seek medical attention immediately.

Health officials warn, if you find a bat, dead or alive, do not touch it or try to move it yourself.

Instead, call animal control to collect the bat.

For more information and links to local animal control offices and health departments