KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - Three people in North Idaho are being treated for possible exposure to rabies after a rabid bat was found inside their home. A family member saw the bat on their staircase inside the home and took it outside, hoping it would fly away but it later died. The bat tested positive for rabies, according to the Panhandle Health District.
Now the entire family is taking rabies shot and medication just in case they were bitten and it went unnoticed. PHD says it's unlikely though definitely possible to get bit by a bat this summer. PHD had a few safety tips if you do encounter one this summer: Never, ever touch it with your bare hands.
If you have any sort of contact with one, seek some sort of medical advice immediately afterwards. Also, if you happen to encounter one and are able to capture it either dead or alive, the Department of Health will test that bat for rabies free of charge to you. If you have any household pets, those should be vaccinated for rabies as well. Last year, there were nine rabid bats found in Washington, but they were all in the western half of the state.
The Idaho Panhandle wasn't as lucky. There were 23 found in Idaho, one in Kootenai County last summer.