Anne Arundel County Department of Health officials are looking for anyone who may have recently come in contact with a rabid bat at a Glen Burnie apartment complex.
According to a news release, the bat was found on June 20 at the Hidden Woods Apartments in the 400 block of Hidden Brook Drive in Glen Burnie. The bat has tested positive for rabies, which can be deadly in animals, including domestic pets, as well as humans.
The bat had been in the common laundry room and stairwell of the apartment. Anyone who had contact with the bat or has seen a bat in a room with a sleeping person or unattended child should call the Anne Arundel County Department of Health without delay at 410-222-7256 during office hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call 443-481-3140 after business hours.
Preventive vaccines may be required for anyone who had contact with the bat.
If your pet has had contact with a bat owners should call County Animal Control at 410-222-8900. Pet owners are urged to keep rabies vaccinations current for their dogs, cats and ferrets.
Rabies is spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal, such as a bat, raccoon or fox. It is also spread when the infected animal’s saliva comes in contact with the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin of a person or another animal.
While pets and livestock can be vaccinated against rabies, people exposed to rabies must undergo a costly series of postexposure shots to protect them from the disease. In Anne Arundel County in 2013, there were 40 confirmed cases of animal rabies reported -- 10 bats, 27 raccoons, two groundhogs and one cat, the Department of Health says.
If you find a bat that is inside your home or one that is showing unusual behavior -- such as being active in the daytime or unafraid of humans -- or that appears sick or injured, do not touch the bat.
If possible, shut the bat in a room by itself or trap it under a trash can. Immediately call County Animal Control at 410-222-8900.
For more information about rabies, go to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health website.