Rabid bat found in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, public health officials warn

SEATTLE -- Public health officials warned Thursday that a rabid bat was found Tuesday morning on the sidewalk intersection of Northwest 73rd Street and 8th Avenue Northwest in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood.

“Anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk of getting rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, chief of Communicable Disease for Public Health – Seattle & King County. ”Fortunately, rabies can be prevented if treatment is given before symptoms appear, so identifying anyone who has had contact early is important.”

Public Health said a pedestrian noticed the bat on the sidewalk Tuesday morning and immediately notified Animal Control. "The bat appeared sick and subsequently died prior to the arrival of Animal Control," a news release said.

Public Health officials said that if you or your child had any contact with a bat on August 22 or 23, please call Public Health immediately at 206-296-4774 to get information about preventative treatment. This includes touching a bat, being bitten, scratched, or any other bare skin contact with a bat or its saliva.

"Pets might have been exposed as well. If your pet might have been exposed, contact your veterinarian immediately. Dogs, cats and ferrets should be current on their rabies vaccine but will need to be revaccinated if they had contact with a bat," Public Health said.