King County Health officials announced today that the bat was discovered on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Seattle's Madison Park located at E. Madison St. and E. Howe.
A park visitor found the bat clinging to the bottom of a tree and park grounds crew taped off the area and contacted animal control.
Health officials issued a warning for anyone who may have had contact with the bat or its saliva. If contact occurred, they could be at risk of developing rabies, which is almost always fatal after symptoms have begun. Officials stated that rabies can be prevented if treatment is started before symptoms appear.
If you, your child, or your pet may have come in contact with a bat at the park, health officials ask that you call the health department at 206 296 4774.
According to veterinarian and medical epidemiologist Dr. Megan Kay, the summer's two rabies cases indicate an anomaly and not necessarily an outbreak of rabies.
"This bat was from a different, more solitary species than the rabid bat found at Madison Park beach earlier this summer. This tells us that the two cases were an unusual coincidence, not suggestive of an outbreak among local bat colonies."
The King County Public Health Department states that rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system that is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of an animal with rabies and is usually transmitted by a bite or scratch.
Most Washington State cases of rabies in animals occur in bats, but most bats do not carry rabies.
While many species of bats live in King County and any of them can carry rabies, rabid bats typically lose their ability to fly.
Bats who have the rabies virus are often found on the ground or in the water, increasing their likelihood to come in contact with people and their pets.
For more information about rabies in Washington State, visit the King County Public Health Department website.
"Like" the Seattle Pets Examiner column to help share it with others!
If you would like to continue to receive important information, features, and news related to pets in Seattle and beyond, please click the "Subscribe" icon located at the bottom of this column. It's free, convenient, and anonymous!
You can also find Seattle Pets on Facebook!