Environment, Health, Washington County

Rabid bat found in Washington County

A map showing rabid animals in Oregon for the year through August.

Multnomah County confirmed Wednesday that a rabid bat had been found in northeast Portland Sept. 11, and they’re not the only county grappling with a rabid chiropteran. In fact, they’re not even the first.

“Washington County also had a rabid bat,” disclosed Washington County Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Wendy Gordon in an email to local media organizations Wednesday afternoon. 

Washington County’s bat is the 11th rabid bat tracked—and mapped—so far in 2021 in the state, and Multnomah County’s is the 12th, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority. 

Washington County’s rabid bat, found in a Beaverton home by a resident on September 10, was euthanized. No humans were exposed to the creature, but pets at the home may have been, Gordon said. 

“They are up to date on rabies vaccinations but will receive boosters and undergo a 45-day observation period to be safe,” Gordon said. 

“Washington County residents who find a bat or whose pet may have been bitten by a bat should call Washington County Public Health at 503-846-3594,” Gordon advised.

Washington County was last noted to have a rabid bat in 2019, according to OHA data.

“Rabies is a deadly disease. Fortunately it’s rare because of the requirement for pets to be current on rabies vaccine,” said Multnomah County Communicable Disease Services Manager Lisa Ferguson in a press release following their own bat incident. “Please make sure your pets are up to date on their vaccines so they are protected. And if you see a bat, avoid it. If you think you may have been bitten, scratched or are concerned about contact with a bat, report it because you may need just-in-time rabies vaccines.”

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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