May 10, 2024 at 11:46 p.m.

Lincoln County Has Positive Rabies Case

State confirms rabies in dead bat


LINCOLNTON––A dead bat has been confirmed to have had rabies.

That’s the word Friday from Lincoln County Public Affairs Officer Vanessa León. As León informed, on Thursday, the North Carolina State Public Health Laboratory confirmed a case of rabies found in a bat in Lincoln County. This is the county’s first report of rabies this year.

Lincoln County Animal Services took control of a dead bat in a local residence on Monday. The bat was then sent to the state lab for testing, due to the potential for exposure, as León revealed.

“Although bats play an important role in our ecosystem, they can also carry diseases,” she noted. “It is best to leave wildlife alone.”

If a bat is found in a living space or dwelling, or if you or your pet potentially have had contact with a bat, call Lincoln County Animal Services at (704) 736-4125 to help trap the bat for testing or safely trap the bat yourself. Testing the bat helps public health officials determine whether post-exposure measures are recommended.

Suspect a rabid bat? According to the Centers for Disease Control, you should:

  • Find a container, such as a box or a can, large enough for the bat to fit in and a piece of cardboard large enough to cover the container opening. Punch small air holes in the cardboard.
  • Put on leather work gloves. When the bat lands, approach it slowly, and place the container over it. Slide the cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside.
  • Tape the cardboard to the container to secure the bat inside and notify animal services.

The public is also reminded to make sure rabies vaccinations are up-to-date for pets and any livestock or horses for whom a rabies vaccine is available.

Resources for rabies vaccination include Lincoln County Animal Services (www.lincolncountync.gov/702/animal-services); and Helping Animals To Survive (HATS) (https://www.hatsalive.org/calendar-2/).



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