Rabid bat bites county resident

A bat that bit a Bartholomew County resident early last week has tested positive for rabies. The Bartholomew County Health Department said the individual who was bitten caught the bat so it could be tested, enabling the person to begin treatment quickly.

The individual lives west of Columbus and the bite occurred inside a residence, said Link Fulp, the department’s director of environmental health.

The person who was bitten is undergoing rabies treatment, which consists of a series of shots with rabies vaccine, Fulp said.

If anyone is bitten by a bat, or any wild animal, the area of the bite should be washed with soap and water and individuals should immediately call their doctor, Fulp said.

Any bite must be reported to the local health department, and the doctor will determine if the patient should be treated with rabies vaccine, health department officials said.

The health department said of 29 bats tested locally over the past three years, this is the second positive test for rabies.