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Ballwin man exposed to rabies after being bitten by bat, health department says

The health department gave a few tips to keep in mind if you come into contact with an animal that might have rabies.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The St. Louis County Health Department said a Ballwin man became the first county resident to be bitten by a bat that was later found to have rabies.

In a press release. the St. Louis County Health Department said the man was bitten while trying to defend the wild bat from a bird. The man then called animal control, which trapped the bat.

The man went to the hospital to get a rabies vaccination and a tetanus booster shot, but after animal control confirmed the bat had rabies, a health department employee informed the man that he needed more treatment.

He then returned to the hospital and was given rabies immunoglobulin, a medication made up of antibodies that is used to prevent rabies following exposure.

The health department gave a few tips to keep in mind if you come into contact with an animal that might have rabies.

  • Rabies can be deadly in humans.
  • Stay away from wild animals.
  • If a wild animal makes its way into your home and think you may have been bitten while you were not "awake or aware," seek treatment.
  • Supervise children in situations where they may come in contact with wild animals.

To report a bat in St. Louis County, call St. Louis County Animal Care and Control at 314-615-0650 during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.). After business hours, call 636-529-8210.

In the City of St. Louis, you can call the Citizens' Service Bureau at (314) 622-4800 to report if you or someone else has been bitten by a bat.

In St. Charles County, you can report an animal bite by calling the St. Charles County Division of Humane Services at 636-949-7387 during normal business hours. After normal business hours, on weekends, or on holidays, please contact the St. Charles County Police Department by phone at 636-949-3000, a municipal Animal Control unit or your local law enforcement agency.

To report a bat in Illinois, call your local animal control department, the non-emergency line for your local police department or natural resources biologist to report it. Do not pick up or touch the animal.

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