Bat found by Thurston County preschool kids tests positive for rabies

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A live bat discovered earlier this week by a group of preschool children tested positive for rabies, health officials said Friday.

According to Thurston County Public health and Social Services, the children reported finding the live bat to their teachers. The school then contacted the county health department for assistance.

It's unclear how many children came into contact with the bat, but health officials are recommending that children get the rabies vaccine.

"Because the children are very young, it is unclear whether any of them had any contact with the bat," said Public Information Supervisor Meghan Porter. "Parents were made aware that in circumstances such as these, PHSS recommends that the children get the rabies vaccine. The cost, and extent to which this vaccine is covered by insurance, varies."

Authorities said 6 percent of bats in Washington have rabies. The virus can be transmitted through bites, cuts and scratches.

Some bats teeth and claws can be so small that you might not even know if you were bit or scratched, officials said.

Health officials would not identify which preschool this happened at but said families are being notified.

Public health officials released the following guidance on what to do if you find a bat:

What should you do if you find a bat, dead or alive?