Picking up any wildlife, there’s always the risk of possible dangers, such as a bite. In this case, the wildlife was a bat.
When a woman in Carrollwood saw a bat and decided to pick it up, it bit her finger. She took the bat to have it tested by the Florida Department of Health and it tested positive for rabies. The woman is being treated. This is the second confirmed case in Hillsborough County in 2020.
Bats are active this time of year, so don’t try to handle one yourself. If there’s a bat inside your home, contact the Department of Health. The DOH says there is always some level of rabies in Florida’s wildlife population. They also remind pet owners to keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date.
The only definitive way to know if any animal has rabies is through a lab examination. It’s best to avoid contact with any wild animals. If bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to a wild animal’s saliva that may be acting unusual should report the contact to the health department.
There was just one rabid animal identified to have rabies in 2019, and 10 in 2018.
[Source: Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County]