ONEONTA – A second bat, this one retrieved from a room in Oneonta where four people were sleeping, tested positive for rabies today, the county Health Department announced.
The bat was captured and sent for rabies testing; the people exposed were started on post-exposure treatment.
This is the second local rabies alert: On April 14, a skunk tested positive in the Town of Hartwick.
“Rabies is considered 100 percent fatal once symptoms appear,” the announcement said. “It is 100 percent preventable if post-exposure treatment is started before symptoms, and the schedule is adhered to.”
According to the DOH, it receives more calls at this time of year of bats in homes, because young bats are just starting to fly and can get into homes through narrow gaps in screens, windows and doors – any holes as small as a dime.
A bat found in a home should be tested if it comes into contact with a person, is found in a room with a sleeping person or unattended child, is found close to a child outdoors, or is found in a room with someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or someone with a sensory or mental impairment.
Call the health department at 547-4230 if you need more information.