Bat found in Milwaukee home tests positive for rabies

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A bat found inside a Milwaukee home was captured and tested positive for rabies. That's according to the Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker, who says there is no imminent threat to the public.

Rabies can be transmitted from infected mammals to humans through a bite, scratch, or when animal saliva comes into contact with broken skin. Rabies can be found in a variety of wild animals such as raccoons, opossums, foxes, and bats. It can also be transmitted to domestic animals, including cats and dogs, from contact with infected wild animals.

Because bites and scratches from bats may go unnoticed, a physician should be contacted if a bat is found in the same room with a young child, an individual who is sleeping, or an individual with a mental disability. Treatment for human exposure to rabies is available and most effective when administered soon after a bite or exposure to a rabid animal. Rabies in humans is nearly always fatal if preventive treatment is not obtained quickly after exposure.

“We advise Milwaukee residents to take steps to keep themselves and their families safe from exposure to wild animals that may have rabies,” said Commissioner Baker.

If you find a bat or other animal that may be infected in your home, health officials advise safely capturing and containing the animal until a public health official or physician can be consulted.

To limit exposure to animals that may be infected, the MHD advises:

    For more information, visit To report exposure to a bat or animal that may have rabies, contact your local public health department. In the city of Milwaukee, call 414-286-3521.