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Maine CDC: Bats made up 46% of animals submitted for rabies testing in 2021

The information was provided along with safety tips from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.
Credit: AP

MAINE, USA — Bats made up 46 percent of animals submitted to the state lab for rabies testing in 2021, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. 

The statistic came as part of a package of safety tips to prevent rabies exposure for Mainers. 

A news release from the Maine CDC stated bats are most active in Maine from late July into early September. With that said, bat exposures can occur during any part of the year. 

While bats are an important part of the local ecosystem, they can spread viruses like rabies, officials said. It can be deadly in humans, pets, and livestock. 

The release stated rabies spreads when infected mammals bite, or in some cases scratch, a person or another mammal. A rabid animal might show a variety of symptoms or none at all. 

The Maine CDC stated a bat exposure may include: 

  • Bites
  • Scratches
  • Handling a bat without gloves
  • Waking up to a bat in the bedroom
  • Finding a bat in a room with an unaccompanied child or incapacitated adult
  • Pets and livestock holding a bat in their mouths or being in the same area as the bat, like a living room or barn 

Mainers should contact a health care provider about any potential exposure. 

The release offered the following additional information on getting bats tested for rabies: 

For more information, click here

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