1 person bitten by rabid bat at University of Washington

SEATTLE — A bat that tested positive for rabies at the Washington State Public Health Laboratory was found Saturday afternoon on the University of Washington campus.

The bat was reportedly found near Union Bay behind Husky Stadium at about 2 p.m.

Officials said the bat acted aggressively and at least one person was bitten. Multiple people were likely exposed while trying to help the person remove the bat from his hand at the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

"This bat flew up next to them and he was going to move the bat or something and the bat just latched on and started biting his hand," said UW student Mason Fagan. "They wrapped the bat up in a towel and brought it home and then we had somebody drive him to the hospital."

Two other students are being tested.

Officials with Public Health - Seattle & King County said Wednesday they expect the student who was bitten to be OK.

Anyone who had contact with the bat or was near the water or docks by Husky Stadium, the fraternity, including in an alleyway or areas near the fraternity, should seek medical care immediately. Pets who may have been exposed should seek veterinary care promptly.

"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."

Rabies can be life-threatening, but treatable if caught soon after being exposed.

Health officials are warning people that this is a common time of year to see more bats, and anyone who has to handle them should wear thick gloves.

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