A bat found in Sarpy County has been confirmed for rabies.

The Sarpy/Cass Health Department reports this is the first animal in 2019 to test positive for rabies in Sarpy or Cass counties.

A news release from the department stressed bats are active this time of year and therefore the possibility of being exposed to rabies is greater.

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system in humans and other mammals. A person can contract rabies through a bite, scratch or saliva from an infected animal. Potential rabies exposures should not be taken lightly as rabies is generally fatal without preventive treatment. Rabies in humans is 100 percent preventable through prompt appropriate medical care.

The Health Department provides the following recommendations to protect persons and pets from rabies:

• If a person is bitten or scratched by an unfamiliar animal or bat, wash the area with soap and water and seek medical attention.

• Call the local animal control agency to report a bat in your living space. It is important not to touch, hit or destroy it, and do not try to remove it from your home. It may be possible to test the bat and avoid the need to receive rabies treatment. Sarpy County’s animal control agency is the Nebraska Humane Society, which can be reached at 402-444-7800.

• Keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats, and other pets/animals.

• Always seek medical assistance if you suspect a rabies exposure for you or your pets.

For more information about rabies, visit: cdc.gov/rabies/index.html.

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