Dr. Kathryn Feldman, the State Public Health Veterinarian says this year there have been 100 confirmed rabid bats in the state and they are still trying to figure out why.
FREDERICK, Md. (KR) For the second year, Maryland is seeing an increase in the number of rabid bats. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene wants residents to know that rabies is the world’s most fatal disease and how to prevent you or your pets from getting it. Dr. Kathryn Feldman, the State Public Health Veterinarian says this year there have been 100 confirmed rabid bats in the state and they are still trying to figure out why.
“We are not entirely sure, it’s a good question and it’s something we’d like to get a better handle on. At this time we don’t really know what is causing the increase in rabid bats,” said Dr. Feldman.
She said you should stay away from the bat and call animal control if you have a bat in your house, but if you have been bitten then the animal needs to be tested.
“If you encounter a bat in your home, it’s really important to not just immediately get it out if there’s any chance that the bat has had contact with a person. The reason for that is that we are concerned about the transmission of rabies which is a viral disease that can very severe and fatal if someone is infected with it and doesn’t get the right preventive treatment,” said Dr. Feldman.
Dr. Feldman said in Maryland, rabies is most often found in raccoon, skunks, foxes, cats, bats and groundhogs.