A bat collected earlier this week outside city limits in the vicinity of Marion Anderson Road has tested positive for rabies, according to Hot Springs Animal Services Director Dan Bugg.
An apartment resident who went outside to walk her dog noticed a bat hanging near her door. She immediately notified the apartment manager, who called Animal Services. An animal control officer safely captured the bat in a plastic container for lab testing by the Arkansas Department of Health. There was no evidence of human exposure to the rabid bat.
According to a ADH statewide rabies map updated on December 28 by ADH, five bats and four skunks have tested positive for rabies in Garland County during 2015. Garland County's total of nine positive rabies reports is exceeded only by Pulaski County, with 12 reports (nine skunks and three bats). In 2014, Garland County saw 13 positive cases compared to Pulaski County's total of 31.
Arkansas law requires that all dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age by a licensed veterinarian. Rabies shots must be kept current. Pet owners are reminded to contact Animal Services immediately upon observing daytime activity by nocturnal animals such as bats and skunks. Any contact with animals exhibiting unusual behavior should be avoided. For more information, visit the rabies section of the Arkansas Department of Health website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov .