Health Department discusses rabies 9.17

Written by David Green.

Several Fulton County residents have had to begin a series of post-exposure rabies shots due to encounters with bats and a raccoon.

One individual was bitten while removing a burr from the fur of a baby raccoon, while another reached out for what appeared to be a piece of paper and was startled when a bat bit her finger.  Others have awakened to find bats in their bedrooms. In each case, the animals were not available to be tested and could potentially carry rabies.

The individuals bitten are under the care of a physician and are receiving a series of five injected doses of vaccine.  Infection with the rabies virus can be deadly. In 2007, 86 animals in Ohio were confirmed positive for rabies. Bats were the most commonly confirmed rabid animal, with 66 reported positive.

Rabies is typically found in wildlife, such as bats, skunks, and raccoons, but family pets can contract rabies from contact with rabid wildlife. It is important for all pet owners to make sure that their pets are properly immunized. The rabies virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of most animals. Sick animals spread the virus through saliva. People and animals can be infected when the virus-laden saliva gets into a wound, usually through a bite.

For indoor bat encounters, first determine if there has been any possibility of person or pet contact, such as a bite or scratch, with the bat or if the bat may have been in close proximity to an unattended young child or sleeping or impaired person, or was in a room with an unattended pet. If such possibilities cannot be ruled out, a professional animal control company should be contacted to capture the bat. Bats can be tested for rabies if the head is not severely damaged.

If professional help is unavailable, use the following precautions to capture the bat safely without damaging its head.  Close windows, the door to the room and closet doors, and wait for the bat to land.  Wearing gloves, cover the bat with a coffee can or similar container. Slide a piece of cardboard under the can trapping the bat, and tape the cardboard tightly to the can. Contact the Fulton County Health Department at 419/337-0915 to arrange examination of the bat.

If you have confirmed that there was no possibility of human or domestic animal contact, it can be allowed to leave on its own. Close the room and closet doors, open windows, and observe the bat until it leaves.

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017