As the main carriers of rabies in Utah, bats can be dangerous.
After finding several bat infestations in homes, the Utah Department of Health is reminding residents of the health risks that bat exposure poses.
Of 44 bats tested for rabies this year, four came back positive. The virus can be transmitted by bites, scratches or saliva from infected animals.
Rabies can go unnoticed, given that bats have small teeth and claws and their bites can be fairly painless or invisible.
“If you find yourself near a bat, dead or alive, do not touch, hit or destroy it and do not try to remove it from your home yourself,” Hannah Rettler, an epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, said in a news release. “Call your local animal control office to collect the bat and call your health care provider or local public health department immediately to report the possible exposure and determine whether preventive treatment is necessary.”
The health department also recommends vaccinating animals against rabies and staying away from other wild animals.