Rabid Bat Captured in Gaithersburg Apartment

City officials say any people or pets that come in contact with the bat must be treated for the fatal disease.

Gaithersburg Patch

Gaithersburg, MD

By DEB BELT (Patch Staff) July 15, 2015

A rabid bat was found in a Gaithersburg apartment last week, prompting city officials to urge residents to be sure their pets are vaccinated. Rabies is a neurological disease that can be fatal to humans, as well as animals. It is spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal, such as a raccoon, fox or bat. It is also spread when the infected animal’s saliva comes in contact with the eyes, nose, mouth or open cut of a person or another animal.

Gaithersburg Animal Control officers captured a nuisance bat in an occupied apartment in the 40 block of Dalamar Street on Friday. The bat was euthanized and tested for rabies; the city says test results confirmed the bat was infected with the rabies virus.

If you were in direct contact with a bat in this area in the last several weeks, city officials say you should contact Montgomery County Health Department immediately at 240-777-1755. If your pet came into contact with a bat in this area recently, contact Gaithersburg Animal Control at 301-258-6343.

The only way to prevent rabies in your pet is through regular vaccinations. It is extremely important that all dogs or cats you own be properly vaccinated against this disease, says the city. If your pet is not currently vaccinated, contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an appointment. Gaithersburg City Code requires all dogs and cats must be licensed with the City of Gaithersburg.

For more information and for a list of summer rabies clinics, contact the City of Gaithersburg Office of Animal Control at 301-258-6343 or visit the city’s website atwww.gaithersburgmd.gov.