BARRON COUNTY -- Barron County Public Health has confirmed rabies in a bat. This is the first case of animal rabies in Barron County since 2014. Rabies is a rare but serious disease that can cause death.

Contact with an infected bat is the number one cause of human rabies in the U.S. Rabies is spread through a bite or scratch from an infected animal.  Rabies in people is 100% preventable with immediate medical care.  

A person may not see or feel a bat bite or scratch because of the small size of their teeth and claws. This makes it hard to tell when a bat bite or scratch occurs. For example: if you wake up and see a bat in the room, or find a bat in a room with an unattended child, mentally disabled person, or intoxicated person.

“Call public health if you are bitten or scratched by an animal, find a bat in your home, or your pet has contact with a bat or wild animal,” says Health Officer Laura Sauve. “We will work with you and your health care provider to decide further action.”

Protect yourself from rabies:  

  • Vaccinate dogs, cats, ferrets, and livestock against rabies
  • Stay away from wild animals, especially those that are not acting normal
  • Teach children to stay away from unfamiliar animals
  • If any animal bite or scratch occurs, wash the wound immediately with lots of soap and water for 10-15 minutes

If you think you have been exposed to rabies, contact your healthcare provider or contact public health at 715-537-5691, extension 6442.  For more information call public health or go to https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/


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