(KMSP) - Minnesota health officials are warning the public after a woman left two rabid bats at a veterinary clinic in St. Paul earlier this week.
If anyone has been exposed to the rabid bats, they should seek medical care immediately.
According to the state health department, two dead bats were dropped off at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center on Sept. 6 for rabies testing. The woman left before staff could get her contact information. Both bats tested positive for rabies.
The Minnesota Department of Health is now trying to learn if the woman, or anyone else, had been exposed to the bats while they were alive. If you are the person who dropped off these two bats, or know the person who did, please call MDH at 651-201-5414 so rabies disease specialists can assess whether or not anyone should receive rabies prevention shots.
Rabies is a fatal illness that is transmitted through bites from infected animals. Bats are of particular concern because their teeth are so tiny that a bite may not be felt or even leave a noticeable mark. If a person has any physical contact with a bat or finds a bat in the room of a sleeping person or unattended child, the bat should be captured safely and submitted for rabies testing. Never touch a bat with bare hands.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health also stresses the importance of working with your veterinarian to keep pets and livestock current with rabies vaccinations.
For more information on rabies, click here: http://www.health.state.mn.us/rabies