SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A bat has tested positive for rabies in Savannah’s midtown area, The Chatham County Health Department’s Environmental Health (CHD) office announced on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Officials from the CHD say that it’s important to make sure visitors and residents avoid contact with wild animals and ensure your pet is up to date on their rabies vaccine.

The bat was found in a parking lot on 31st Street near Abercorn Street. When the person attempted to gently nudge the bat away from cars, they were bitten. The person has since been treated and there were no other known exposures.

The CHD warns the community that any wild animals in our area can carry rabies including raccoons, foxes and bats. Rabies can be potentially deadly and is spread by infected animals.

It’s important for both you and your family to not make contact with an unknown animal. Make sure your pet is up to date on their rabies vaccines (dogs and cats should get a rabies vaccine at 12 weeks of age and then a booster every 1-3 years depending on your vet’s recommendation). You can also go to a local low-cost clinic or event that will help you get your pet the proper shots. Savannah has an event this weekend at Bentley’s Pet Stuff Whitemarsh and the event will also be taking place at one of their other locations Bentley’s Pet Stuff Pooler. Pet owners can get their pets vaccinated against the disease for $12.

Do not feed or attract wild animals and then bring them into your home. You should also try not to nurse sick animals back to health on your own, contact Chatham County Animal Control for guidance or a licensed rescue agency.

Some symptoms of a rabid animal include:

  • a change in behavior
  • biting, aggression
  • showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans)
  • foaming at the mouth
  • paralysis

If an animal bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Chatham County Animal Services at 912-652-6575 and the Chatham County Environmental Health office at 912-356-216.