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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • 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.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. 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.

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