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Milwaukee Bat Tests Positive for Rabies; Prompts Warnings

The Milwaukee Health Dept. is advising residents to beware of bats. One captured in a household here has tested positive for rabies. Rabies is nearly always fatal in humans, if they don't quickly obtain treatment. An adult, in this case, was exposed.

Infected animals can transmit rabies through a bite, scratch or saliva entering a wound.

To avoid exposure to rabies, the health department advises:

-- avoid contact with wild animals (such as bats, raccoons, foxes), especially if they appear ill

-- if there's an infected animal in your home, try to safely capture it and then contact the health dept. and a physician

-- if you find a bat in a room where a person had spent time, contact the health dept. or physician

-- vaccinate domestic dogs and cats against rabies

-- close small openings in your home, including in screens, to prevent bats from entering.

Treatment for rabies is available and most effective when administered soon after exposure.