Health officials warn of rabid bats

CREATED Feb 5, 2013

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MADISON - Wisconsin health officials are warning about the threat of being exposed to rabies from bats.

The state Department of Health Services warns that a rabid bat was diagnosed last week in the northwestern part of the state.

State veterinarian Jim Kazmierczak says it's uncommon to find a rabid bat this early in the year, but some have been found in January in the past.

Most bats become inactive in winter, but some find shelter indoors (such as the one which flew around during a recent Marquette basketball game) and may come into contact with people or pets.

Rabies can be transmitted if there is physical contact with a bat, such as getting a nick from a bat's tooth or claw.

Twenty-nine rabid bats were detected last year in Wisconsin.