Minnesota residents who submitted a bat to the Minnesota Department of Health for rabies testing in 2003 were surveyed by telephone regarding the circumstances of the bat encounter and their knowledge of bats and rabies. Of 442 bats submitted for testing, 12 (3%) tested positive for rabies, and 410 (93%) tested negative; 17 (4%) bats were unsuitable for testing, and three (1%) had equivocal results. A case-control study found that rabid bats were more likely than non-rabid bats to be found in September, found outside, found in a wooded area, unable to fly, acting ill, or acting aggressively. Rabid bats were not more likely than non-rabid bats to be found during the day or to have bitten someone. While most persons submitting bats for rabies testing were aware that bats can carry rabies, few knew they should submit the bat for testing until they sought the advice of an animal control officer, veterinarian, or healthcare provider.
- Rabies exposures