KIRTLAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Lake County General Health District has confirmed that a bat found in the Kirtland area has tested positive for the rabies virus.

According to health officials, 1 bat tested positive, which they say is not uncommon.

In fact, they say Lake County has had 1 positive test for the rabies virus in local bat populations in 2017, 2018, and 2020.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, rabies is mostly preventable in humans. The virus is spread when an infected animal bites a human or saliva from an infected animal gets into an open wound or onto a mucous membrane.

Here are the recommendations for precautions to take according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wash the wound right away with soap and water.
  • Contact your doctor or a local public health official to assess whether Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is needed.
  • Call your state or local health department or animal control to help trap the bat for testing. Testing a bat to determine if it is rabid can help to determine whether you need PEP.

Health officials if it is suspected a pet has been exposed, call a veterinarian.

Anyone who sees a bat or other animal behaving abnormally is asked to call the police. In Kirtland, the number is (440)256-3333.