For Release: Immediate
Release Date: August 29, 2022

Kirtland, Ohio August 27, 2022: Kirtland Officials were informed by the Lake County Department of Health that one (1) bat located in Kirtland area bat population tested positive for the rabies virus. These tests are performed annually by the Lake County Department of Health to determine the general health of the bat population.

It is not uncommon for these tests to come back positive. Lake County has had one (1) positive test for the rabies virus in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021 in their local bat populations. According to the Ohio Department of Health, rabies is 100% preventable in human populations. The virus is spread when an infected animal bites a human, or less commonly when saliva from an infected animal gets into an open wound or onto a mucous membrane.

While there is not a widespread problem or need for concern, the general public should take the following precautions recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Ohio Department of Health if being bitten a bat or other animal suspected to have the virus:
1. Wash the wound right away with soap and water.
2. Contact your doctor or a local public health official to assess whether Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is needed.
3. Call your state or local health department or animal control to help trap the bat for testing or safely trap the bat yourself. Testing a bat to determine if it is rabid can help to determine whether you need PEP.

If a pet is suspected of exposure, please seek veterinary care immediately. If you see a bat or other animal behaving abnormally, DO NOT go near it. Call the Kirtland Police Department and we will make arrangements for removal and testing.