A bat in Cooperstown tested positive for rabies in Cooperstown on Thursday, Sept. 16, Otsego County Public Health Department announced Friday. There was no human exposure.
Rabies is considered 100% fatal once symptoms appear, but it is preventable if post-exposure treatment is started before symptoms appear, and a schedule of treatment is followed, according to a media release from Public Health.
Bats can get into homes through narrow gaps in screens, windows, doors or holes as small as a dime. To avoid bat encounters, Public Health encourages people not to leave doors or windows open without screens and make sure screens are tight.
Bats founds in homes that can be safely captured should be tested for rabies, Public Health said, if a person is in direct physical contact with a bat, a bat is found in a room with a sleeping person, an unattended child or a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with other sensory or mental impairments.
In some circumstances, a bat found in close proximity to an unattended child outdoors should also be tested, Public Health said.
For more information, call Otsego Health Public Health at 607-547-4230.