1 person bitten by rabid bat at UW, others who were exposed urged to seek medical care

SEATTLE -- At least one person was bitten by a rabid bat at UW last Saturday and others were exposed and should seek medical care immediately, Public Health of Seattle and King County said Tuesday.

The bat was reportedly found near Union Bay behind Husky Stadium at about 2 p.m. Saturday, health officials said in a news release. The bat bit at least one person and latched on to that person's fingers. The victim then sought help from others in removing the bat at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at the UW campus before seeking medical care.

The health department received positive test results on the bat for rabies Monday.

Generic file of a bat.

"Anyone who had contact with this bat at or near Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity on the UW Campus (4509 19th Ave NE in Seattle), including in an alleyway or areas near the fraternity, or near the water or docks by Husky Stadium should seek medical care immediately, including anyone who helped to remove the bat. Pets that might have been exposed should be seen by veterinary care promptly," the news release said.

"Rabies is treatable if caught before symptoms appear, so identifying anyone who has had contact as soon as possible is important," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Contact includes touching a bat, being bitten, scratched, or any other bare skin contact with a bat or its saliva.”