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Those who touched live in Bangor need to be treated to prevent rabies



BANGOR, Maine (WABI) Officials are trying to find people who might come in contact with a rabid bat in Bangor last Saturday and Sunday, March 16/17.

The live bat was found in the people who are not the only place it was handled by humans

Authorities warn bats that don't mind being approached, who are active during the day, or unable to fly, might be rabid.

Rabies is fatal, but preventable if treated right away.

Those who have direct skin contact with the bat should start medication immediately. Read full release from Maine CDC:

NEWS RELEASE
Maine CDC Seeks to Locate Individuals Exposed to Rabid Bat in Bangor

AUGUSTA, Maine ̵

1; Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) is working to identify several individuals who may have been exposed to rabies through the treatment of a rabid bat in Bangor.

Maine CDC is investigating the circumstances of the potential exposure, which occurred during the weekend of March 16 and 17. The live bat was found in the vicinity of the Shaw House, a youth shelter in Bangor. It was among several individuals who handled it with their bare hands across several locations in the Bangor area. The bat later tested positive for rabies at Maine's Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. Those who had direct skin contact with the bat, and did not wear gloves or use a cloth or other barrier, are at risk of acquiring rabies.

Bats that exhibit unusual behavior, such as being easily approached, active during the day, or unable to fly, could be infected with rabies.

Rabies is fatal, but preventable if treated without delay after exposure. Individuals who had direct skin contact with the bat should start rabies prophylaxis as soon as possible. Rabies prophylaxis includes two different injections: Rabies Immune Globulin (RIG) and the rabies vaccine.

Rabies is spread when infected animals bite or scratch another animal or person. The virus can also be spread as saliva or tissue from the brain or spinal cord gets into broken skin or the mouth, nose, or eyes.

Maine CDC requests that anyone who had direct skin contact with a bat in the Bangor area during the weekend of March 16 and 17 contact their healthcare provider to discuss the risks and determine if they need prophylaxis. May also contact Maine CDC directly at 1-800-821-5821.

Only those who handle the bat with bare hands are at risk of rabies. There is no risk to the general public in the area where the bat was found among those who did not touch the animal.

For more information:
• Maine CDC's Rabies webpage www.maine.gov/dhhs/rabies
• Maine CDC's disease reporting and consultation line 1-800-821-5821


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