CLARKE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Alabama Public Health officials are urging residents to be cautious after two bats tested positive for rabies at a Clarke County home.

Bats and raccoons are the main carriers of the rabies virus in Alabama. If you find a bat in your home or are exposed to it, public health officials encourage residents to safely capture the bat for testing.

State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Dee W. Jones explains how residents can safely capture a bat.

“The challenge is collecting the bat without further exposing yourself, so gloves should be worn, and a shovel, net or other tool can be used to avoid touching it if possible,” said Jones. 

The Alabama Department of Public Health encourages residents to adhere to the advice given by wildlife officials, licensed exterminators and contractors when removing a bat from a building. 

If you believe you have been exposed to rabies, the ADPH urge residents to:

  • Vaccinate pets against rabies according to your veterinarian’s recommendation.
  • If you are bitten or scratched by a bat, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If you awaken and find a bat in your bedroom or in the room of an unattended child or a mentally impaired person, seek advice from your medical provider and report it to your county health department.
  • If possible, collect the bat in an escape-proof container with air holes and take to a local veterinarian for euthanasia. Do not induce trauma by blunt force.
  • If you see a bat in your home and you are sure no human or pet exposure has occurred, confine the bat to a room by closing all doors and windows leading out of the room except those to the outside. The bat will probably leave soon.

For more information about possible exposure to bats, click the link here or call the Clarke County Health Department at 251-275-3772 or the ADPH at 334-206-5969.