Worcester County Sees Increase in Calls Regarding Bats in Homes

Snow Hill, Md. (September 12, 2013) – Worcester County Health Department has received an increase in calls related to bats in homes over the past few weeks.  This is the time of year that bats may be leaving the colony location and can occasionally be found on the outside of homes or buildings or in unsecured openings in homes.  

Since 1995, more than 90 percent of people who died with rabies in the United States contracted the disease from bats.  Rabid bats are likely to be active by day, may be found in a place they would not normally be found and may be unable to fly.  However, most human deaths related to bat rabies are not related to abnormal behavior of bats. Any bat found inside the living spaces of a home are of concern. 

If an individual awakens to find a bat in their room, sees a bat in the room of an unattended child, or sees a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, they are advised to seek medical advice, regardless of whether a bite is suspected or not.  Bats have small teeth, and bites can go unnoticed, especially if bat contact occurs when a person is sleeping.  Rabies vaccine must be provided after an exposure in order to prevent rabies infection from developing.   Rabies is fatal once symptoms develop, but the vaccine is almost always effective if given before rabies symptoms become apparent. 

The Worcester County Health Department provides the following tips to address potential bat exposures:
 
  • If a bat is found in the living area(s) of your home and exposure to either humans or pets cannot absolutely be ruled out, the bat should be tested for rabies.  Immediately contact the Worcester County Health Department at 410-641-9559 or, if after hours, your local police department or the Sheriff's Office, so that arrangements can be made for collection of the bat and for rabies testing. If the bat cannot be safely contained, where possible, close off the room the bat is in and place a towel at the bottom of the door.
  • Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes.   Never handle a bat with bare hands. Use thick gloves or call a bat removal expert to help you remove bats from your house.
  • Make sure all household pets have current rabies vaccinations and avoid contact with stray or wild animals. 
 
For assistance with bat colonies not inside the living area of the home (attics, eves) contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Heritage Service at www.dnr.md.us/wildlife.  Search for "bats in houses” or call 1-877-463-6497. 
 
For more tips and information about bats and rabies, please visit our website at http://worcesterhealth.org.
 
### 
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Snow Hill, MD-National Great American Smokeout Day returns on November 15. For individuals thinking about quitting smoking, this is the perfect time to take that first step. The Great American Smokeout may offer just the support you need by knowing that other smokers are also giving up cigarettes for the day.

Read more ...

Know your risk and prevention strategies.

Snow Hill, MD- November marks National Diabetes Awareness Month and Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) is encouraging both those with diabetes and those at-risk for developing the disease to use healthy practices and prevention techniques this fall and winter. For those already living with diabetes, WCHD sponsors a free monthly diabetes support group monthly every third Wednesday, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Snow Hill Library. A Registered Dietitian and Community Health Educator facilitate the support group and the monthly topics help participants reinforce self-management skills.

Read more ...

 

SNOW HILL, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department urges all residents age 6 months and older, including pregnant women and those with medical conditions, to be vaccinated for the 2018-2019 seasonal flu. People age 65 years and older have a choice of two flu vaccines available to them at the Worcester County Health Department. They can choose to receive a regular flu vaccine or a high dose flu vaccine which may result in a stronger immune response against the flu.

Read more ...

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

This bacterium is found in the nose, throat and mouth of an infected person, and can be easily spread. Pertussis can occur at any age, but often causes serious problems in babies, and is usually milder in older children and adults. Children who are too young to be fully vaccinated and those that have not received all their vaccinations are at highest risk for severe illness and complications. Complications of pertussis can include pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and other physical and medical outcomes associated with a severe cough.

Read more ...

Our new Just Walk Worcester website has information on local parks, walking tips, and videos of trails in our area. If you like to walk, check it out! Click the image below to see the new site. 

 

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program