Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Clatsop County

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A bat found in Clatsop County recently tested positive for rabies. Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease.

Rabies virus is transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal and while post-exposure vaccination is effective, the best plan is prevention. In Oregon, the main reservoir of rabies is bats.

Clatsop County Public Health Department reminds you to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your pets from rabies:

  • Avoid physical contact with bats – healthy, sick, alive, or dead. Be sure to keep children and pets away from bats.
  • Do not hand feed or otherwise handle stray animals and wildlife.
  • Vaccinate all dogs and cats against rabies. This protects them and provides an immune barrier between humans and wild animals.

While bats play a valuable role in nature, contact with humans should be avoided. Sick bats may be seen flopping around on the ground or otherwise acting unusually.

If you find a sick bat or other sick wildlife on your property, take children and pets indoors and call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 541-388-6363 or contact Clatsop County Animal Control for a list of local resources at 503-861-7387. 

If a pet comes in physical contact with a bat report it to Clatsop County Animal Control at 503-861-7387.

To protect your pet, make sure their rabies vaccinations are up to date. Dogs, cats, and ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies at three to six months of age. After initial vaccination, a booster is required in one year and then every three years after that.

Under Oregon law, dogs and cats that do not have current vaccinations and are suspected of exposure to rabies must be euthanized or placed under strict quarantine for four months.

If a person does come in physical contact with a bat or is bitten by an animal, promptly report it to Clatsop County Department of Public Health at 503-325-8500.