TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – A Twin Falls County resident is receiving treatment after an encounter with a rabid bat.

The individual was working in the Mini-Cassia area on Monday when the incident occurred, says Tanis Maxwell, an epidemiologist with South Central Public Health District.

The bat was captured and sent to the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories for testing, the district said in a prepared statement. On Wednesday, the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories sent the results to Maxwell.

“The bat tested positive for rabies,” Maxwell said. The individual is currently receiving treatment.

According to the health district there have been 19 animals in Idaho that have tested positive for rabies since June. This is the first animal in south-central Idaho since that time, however, to test positive for rabies.

The district cautions residents to avoid exposure to bats, and to protect themselves and their pets by remembering the following:

  • Do not touch a bat with your bare hands
  • If you have an encounter with a bat, seek medical attention immediately
  • If safe to do so, capture the bat and save it in a container without touching it, and then contact South Central Public Health District to arrange for free testing
  • Always vaccinate your pets, including horses. Pets may encounter bats outdoors or in the home
  • Plug all holes in your cabin or home. Pay attention to gaps in the siding and maintain tight-fitting screens on windows and vents.

To arrange for an animal to be tested, call 737-5966.