In what’s sure to become a cornerstone issue that sways the upcoming mayoral primary, Seattle’s health department has discovered Bat Patient Zero. Found Monday afternoon at Madison Park public beach, said bat has tested positive for rabies, meaning zombie bats are sure to follow.
Probably not, but you should still always be careful around bats, which are the notorious rabies-carriers of Washington State. Most bats don’t carry rabies but after coming into contact with them don’t worry about being too careful.
If left unchecked, rabies is a life threatening disease, and the Public Health department is urging any person or animal who was in Madison Park on July 14 or 15 to seek medical help if they were “touched, scratched, bitten, or had contact with saliva” with a bat. (So there go any plans for finding a hot bat to make out with this weekend.)
Furthermore, remember that rabies can be carried from wild animals (notably: skunks, raccoons, foxes and coyotes) to domestic animals (such as: cats, dogs, ferrets, horses, goats, llamas, etc.), so generally speaking it might be a good idea to seek medical advice after getting bitten by just about anything.
Once symptoms develop rabies cannot be treated, so the health department stresses that “rapid treatment before symptoms appear is critical.”
The news comes the same week Mayor Mike McGinn’s park rangers program goes into effect, and we can only assume Ed Murray will use this veritable rabies outbreak to declare the new program a failure. For if we’re not safe from rabies in our parks, what good are they?