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Three bats test positive for rabies in Jefferson County

Three of 18 big brown bats found in the 40059 ZIP code in Jefferson County tested positive for rabies.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Less than a month after the Oldham County Health Department reported a rabid bat in the area, three bats tested positive for rabies in Jefferson County.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health confirmed three of 18 big brown bats found in the 40059 ZIP code in Jefferson County tested positive for rabies. Two of the bats were found inside a residence while a third was outside another home.

July is maternity season for bats, and newborn bats are beginning to take flight. Big brown bats are the most common bats in the area.

Public health and wildlife officials are asking the public to take precautions around bats and contact their local health department if they come into contact with a bat.

"Bats should never be handled by untrained and unvaccinated persons nor be kept as pets," said Connie Mendel, assistant director of the Department of Public Health and Wellness. "Bats have small, very sharp teeth, and you may not know that you have been bitten. Transmission of rabies can occur from even minor, seemingly unimportant, or unrecognized bites from bats."

Pets also need to be up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. Louisville Metro Animal Services will provide low-cost pet vaccinations, including one or three-year rabies vaccines July 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 201 Outer Loop. 

Anyone who comes into contact with a dead or impaired bat should contact the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness at (502) 574-6650.

RELATED: Rabid bat identified in Oldham County

RELATED: US bans dogs brought in from 100 countries with rabies risk

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