ST. PAUL -- A bat found in a parking lot in Benton County tested positive for rabies, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

A report released by the agency says a man and his son found the bat between two parked cars in an apartment parking lot on Dec. 23. They captured the bat with a magazine and plastic container, avoiding direct contact, and brought the bat to a local wildlife rehabilitation center.

The following day, the bat bit one of the center's technicians before exhibiting neurological signs of rabies. It died on Dec. 26 and tested positive for rabies the next day.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommended treatment for the bitten technician, but chose not to conduct an investigation because there were no domestic animals near where the bat was found.

Rabies is a disease that affects the nervous system of mammals. It is caused by a virus and is typically spread by an infected animal biting another animal or person. Rabies is a fatal disease and cannot be treated once symptoms appear.

Officials says all dogs, cats, ferrets, and horses should be vaccinated against the rabies virus. In the event an animal is exposed or potentially exposed, pets should receive a rabies vaccination booster within 96 hours of exposure. The board says all suspicious interactions between pets and wildlife should be reported to a veterinarian.

Any questions related to rabies exposure in people should be directed to the Minnesota Department of Health at 651-201-5414. To see a video of how to safely capture a bat, check out this video by the Minnesota Department of Health.


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