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Rabies confirmed in Cowlitz Co. bats; dogs euthanized

Health

Possible human exposures are also being investigated

little brown bat

A little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). The species is found all over the United States (Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife).

CASTLE ROCK, Wash. (KOIN) — Two bats found near Castle Rock tested positive for rabies this week, according to Cowlitz County Health & Human Services (CCHHS).

little brown bat U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
A little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). The species is found all over the United States (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Authorities said a resident found their dogs playing with the bats, identified as a little brown bat and a big brown bat. The two dogs were exposed to rabies and had to be put down, according to CCHHS. Possible human exposures are also being investigated. These are the first bats to test positive for rabies in Cowlitz County in about 10 years.

Bats are the main animal that carries rabies, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Rabies is a serious viral disease affecting the central nervous system.

If you think you’ve been bitten or scratched by an animal that may be rabid, you should seek immediate medical attention because rabies is often fatal.

big brown bat
A big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). It is found all over North America (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Symptoms include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and hallucinations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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