SEATTLE (AP) — Health officials say a sick bat found this week on a Seattle public beach was tested and found to have rabies. They urged anyone whose child or pet had any contact with the bat on Sunday or Monday to contact the local health department for guidance.
Public Health – Seattle & King County said Thursday the bat was found Monday at the Madison Park public beach.
Officials warned that rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms develop, so rapid treatment before then is crucial.
A beachgoer spotted the bat in the shade of a tree at the south end of the beach.
Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system. The virus is found in the saliva of an animal with rabies.
Health officials say that in Washington, most cases of rabies in animals occur in bats. However, most bats do not carry rabies. Healthy bats will avoid people.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.