Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health advisory Friday concerning a possible rabies exposure.
They report investigating the circumstances surrounding a rabid bat in the general area outside the Shaw House in Bangor on the weekend of March 16 and 17. The bat tested positive for rabies at Maine’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory (HETL).
The live bat was found in the vicinity of the Shaw House, a homeless youth shelter in Bangor. It was passed among several individuals who handled it with their bare hands across several locations in the Bangor area. Those who had direct skin contact with the bat, who did not wear gloves or use a cloth or other barrier between them and the bat, are at risk of acquiring rabies. Rabies is fatal. Individuals who had direct skin contact with the bat should start rabies prophylaxis as soon as possible including RIG and the rabies vaccine.
Maine CDC is continuing to monitor for additional contacts and will continue to provide recommendations as necessary. Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is the best method of protection against rabies after exposure.