A bat in Sarpy County tested positive for rabies on Friday, health officials say.
The bat is the first animal from 2019, which according to Sarpy / Cass Health has been confirmed in either Sarpy or Cass County with the virus department.
Officials said residents should be aware that bats are active at this time of the year, increasing the chance of exposure.
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Rabies affects the nervous system in humans and other mammals. A person can contract through a bite, scratch or saliva of an infected animal. Health officials also warned residents against taking potential exposures seriously. While rabies in humans can be prevented by immediate medical attention, it is usually fatal.
To protect yourself, your family, and your pets from rabies:
- If bitten or scratched by an unknown animal or bat, wash the area with soap and water and seek medical attention.
- Call your local animal welfare authority to report a bat in your living space. It is important not to touch, hit or destroy the animal. Do not try to remove it from home. It may be possible to test the bat and avoid the need for rabies treatment.
- Keep immunizations for pets and other animals up to date.
- Seek medical attention if you suspect that you or your pets have been exposed to rabies.
For more information on rabies can be found at cdc.gov/rabies.[1