A bat with rabies was found in Seattle’s Madison Park Saturday, and Public Health – Seattle & King County says anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk to develop the disease.
The agency is advising that if you, your child or a pet touched the bat or was scratched or bitten by it to call the Public Health offices at 206-296-4774.
The health department cautions that pets — dogs, cats and ferrets — should be currently vaccinated against rabies. If a pet may have been exposed, call your your veterinarian immediately so your pet can be vaccinated again.
This is the second time this summer that a rabid bat has been found in the park, which is located at East Madison Street and East Howe Street.
The bat found Saturday by a visitor to the park was clinging to the bottom of a tree on the playground. The visitor reported the bat to park crews who taped off the area and called animal control.
This bat is a different species than the one found in the park earlier this summer, Dr. Meagan Kay, a veterinarian and medical epidemiologist with the health department, said in a news release. The fact that two bats were found in the same park is a coincidence and does not suggest a rabies outbreak in local bat populations, she said.
Rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin, can be prevented if treatment is given before they appear, according to the health department.