Summers in Idaho are fun. You can go kayaking on the Snake. There's actually water coming over Shoshone Falls. Oh, and you can look forward to finding a rabid bat in your backyard.

The first rabid bat of the summer of 2016 was found in Meridian a couple weeks ago. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare broke the wonderful news.

A bat found in Meridian has tested positive for rabies, Central District Health Department (CDHD) has reported this afternoon. The bat was found in the back yard of a central Meridian home and is the first of the year to test positive for rabies in Idaho.

The good news is the Idaho DHW is always ready with plenty of bat safety tips. Take it away, bat safety people.

To protect yourself and your pets, CDHD offers the following tips:

  • Do not touch a bat with your bare hands.
  • If you have had an encounter with a bat, seek medical attention
  • If you come in contact with a bat, save the bat in a container without touching it and contact your district health department to arrange testing for rabies. Whenever possible, the bat should be tested to rule out an exposure to rabies.
  • Always vaccinate your pets for rabies, including horses. Pets may encounter bats outdoors or in the home.
  • Bat-proof your home or cabin by plugging all holes in the siding and maintaining tight-fitting screens on windows.

I can honestly say that touching a bat with my bare hands was not on my to-do list, so we're good there. I would love to have a cabin so that a bat could potentially get in it, but my wife won't let me have one. Darn.

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