North-central Idaho officials urge vigilance for people, pets encountering bats

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GRANGEVILLE, Idaho — Public health officials in north-central Idaho are warning residents to be wary after a rabid bat was discovered in Idaho County.

Ed Marugg with the Public Health district in Lewiston told the Lewiston Tribune newspaper ( that a pet cat recently came in contact with a rabid bat, and carried the sick bat onto someone's porch.

Rabid bats are not uncommon. Last month a rabid bat was found in Boise, and a few days later a woman in Bonner County underwent post-rabies exposure treatment after she came into contact with an infected dead bat on the shore of Priest Lake.

In humans, rabies is rare but fatal if left untreated. The disease is transmitted through an infected animal's saliva, often through a bite or scratch. Health officials say people should never handle bats, and pet owners should make sure their animals are up to date on their rabies vaccine.

Information from: Lewiston Tribune,

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