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Public Health Madison & Dane County has identified a rabid bat. The bat was found on a residential sidewalk on Manito Court in the City of Middleton on September 12, 2021. At this time, there is no known exposure to people or pets, but the bat was collected and tested as a precaution, and the test for rabies determined that the bat had rabies.

Public Health Animal Services staff will be going to the neighborhood and talking to the occupants of the houses in the vicinity of where the bat was found. Anyone who thinks they may have had contact with this bat is asked to call the non-emergency Police and Fire Dispatcher at (608) 255-2345 and ask for Animal Services.

 “While not all bats carry rabies, it is not uncommon to find a rabid bat in our community,” said Environmental Health Supervisor John Hausbeck. “If you find a bat outside that is not acting normally, especially if they’re seen during the day or on the ground, don’t touch it, call the Animal Services Officer Dispatch right away.”

Rabies is a deadly virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. After a bite by a rabid animal, the infection moves from the bite wound to the nerve cells, causing a variety of symptoms starting out as fever and body aches, as the virus spreads to the central nervous system.

“August and September is typically peak season when it comes to the number of bats submitted for rabies testing,” said Hausbeck. “To date, 15 bats have tested positive for rabies in Wisconsin, this is the 11th in Dane County. Last year, a total of 25 cases were seen statewide and seven bats tested positive in Dane County.”