Campers and Bats

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Campers and Bats

Did you know?

Mid to late summer is the time of year for young bats to leave their mothers and venture out on their own. Although bats are very helpful in eating mosquitoes and other pests, some bats have a disease called rabies. Bats can spread rabies to humans by touching them, or by their saliva getting into a person’s eyes, mouth or a wound.

Campers

If you find a bat inside a cabin or on the ground outside, contact your camp counselor… Do not touch or play with the bat. This is especially true if the bat is acting strangely (unusually tame). Bats can give you rabies even if you don’t know it has touched you.

Camp Staff

Exposure to bats is the main source of rabies in people in the United States today. It is possible, but rare, that someone might be bitten by the bat and not know it. If a bat comes into a building and you are SURE the bat has had no contact with anyone (someone saw it enter, and it has been in sight the entire time), open the windows and let the bat escape or capture and release it. However, if you discover a bat in a cabin, especially in the room of a sleeping person or child, treat this situation as though an actual bite has occurred and safely capture the bat for testing. A bat may be captured by covering it with a box or can and sliding a piece of cardboard over the opening and taping the cardboard on as a lid. A dead bat may be double bagged, then placed in the fridge (DO NOT FREEZE!). If the bat must be touched, please wear gloves. Place the bat in the refrigerator and contact the Flathead City-County Health Department751-8110. If you need to contact the health department after 5 PM or on weekends for an emergency, call 751-8110 and you will be directed to our after hours emergency call number.

 

Flathead City-County Health Department Contact Info

1035 1st Ave West
Kalispell, MT 59901

406-751-8101 main line
406-751-8102 fax

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