Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bethlehem Girl Bitten By Rabid Bat

From City of Bethlehem: On October 10, 2016, a young girl was bitten by a bat in Monocacy Park, Bethlehem. Fortunately, the bat was available for testing and did test positive for rabies. The girl is receiving post exposure prophylaxis vaccine to prevent her from contracting the rabies virus. The Bethlehem Health Bureau is urging citizens to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from exposures to and injuries from wild and domesticated animals. 

It is recommended that citizens never attempt to handle a wild or domesticated animal that is not their own.  All sick or injured animals should be reported to the local police department or animal control officer.  When interacting with a domesticated animal, such as a dog or cat, always ask the pet owner’s permission first and approach the animal cautiously.  Infants and children should never be left unattended with an animal.  

Pet owners are encouraged to keep dogs and cats up to date on rabies vaccine-per Pennsylvania law, all domesticated dogs and cats over three months of age must be vaccinated against rabies.In addition, individuals should not feed wildlife, stray or feral cats, or stray dogs.  

Anyone who is bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to an animal should seek prompt medical care. By law, all medical care providers must report these cases to the local health department for investigation.  

To report an actual or potential exposure to a wild or domesticated animal, please call the Bethlehem Health Bureau 610-865-7083.

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