September 18, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
47°F

Second rabid bat discovered in county

For the second time this year, a rabid bat was discovered in a Medina County home.

The latest incident happened in Brunswick, where a bat was found in a home on Alda Parkway, on the city’s northeast side, according to the Medina County Health Department.

The bat was sent to the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory in Columbus on Wednesday and positive test results reported the next day.

Earlier this year in Medina, a rabid bat was captured March 6 in the kitchen sink of a home on East Liberty Street.

In neither case were residents in direct contact with the bats, health department spokesperson Colleen Rice

said.

But Rice said there was reported exposure to a family pet in the Brunswick home.

The discovery of two rabid bats within three months is unusual. Rice said county unusually see a case of bat rabies only once in every one-to-three years.

Before this year, the last bat rabies case in the county was reported in 2011 in Medina, she said

Rice said rabies is fairly common among bat populations in Ohio. Generally, four to five percent of all bats —
about one in 20 — test positive for rabies.

Rice stressed the importance of keeping bats out of the home and bedrooms to prevent exposure.

Health officials urge people to attempt to safely capture a bat if found inside their home. Recommended steps

include:

• Wear gloves and avoid direct skin contact with the bat.

• Avoid harming the bat’s head.

• Keep the bat in one room and close windows, room doors and closet doors.

• Turn on lights if the room is dark and wait for the bat to land.

• Cover the bat with a coffee can or similar container. Slide a piece of cardboard under the can to trap the

bat and tape the cardboard tightly to the can.

• If necessary, use a net or long pole with a piece of duct tape (sticky side out) to capture the bat.

• Do not use a glue board to capture the bat because this affects the rabies test.

• Do not drown the bat because that also affects the rabies test.

• Contact a licensed animal control professional.

Officials ask people not to release a captured bat and instead to call the county Health Department at (330)

723-9523.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.