Warm weather is coming and bats are coming out of hibernation. Bats are an important part of Oregon’s ecosystem. Bats in Oregon only eat insects and will only bite humans or other animals if provoked or ill. In Oregon, bats are the main animal of concern for rabies, which is caused by a virus that is transmitted from certain animals to humans.
Do not touch bats for any reason, especially if they appear to be sick or behaving unusually. If you a bat bites or scratches you, wash the bitten area, seek medical advice, and call your local health department. Testing a bat for rabies requires the animal to be dead with the head and brain intact.
Do not try to capture the animal yourself. Please coordinate with Public Health.
Pets – like dogs, cats, and ferrets – although rare, can have rabies. Do not touch feral cats or strays. Contact public health if you have been bitten by an animal.
Be responsible pet owners, and vaccinate your pets! A veterinarian can make sure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccination, especially outdoor animals with potential of exposure to bats. If you suspect your pet has rabies, your pet may need to be confined and observed for rabies. Please coordinate with Public Health.