The Arizona Department of Health Services today issued a warning for Arizona residents over an influx in rabies cases seen around the state, and the usual suspects are once again bats and bobcats.
According to the ADHS, there were three bobcat attacks in Arizona in April alone, and in each case, the cat turned out to be rabid.
Of those attacks, a person needed to be vaccinated after being exposed to the disease, and a pet dog had to be killed because it was not vaccinated against the disease.
In the last few weeks, ADHS officials also have encountered the problem of children playing with bats (not baseball bats -- bats of the flying rodent variety).
In two cases in the last few weeks, students were found playing with bats they found at their schools.
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"Students may have picked up the bats unaware of what they actually are," says ADHS Program Manager Craig Levy. "Bats can look like small, fuzzy animals, so children might think it's safe to handle them. It's not."
We've seen bats -- their gross, little fangs are terrifying. Check out the photo to the left to see what we're talking about.
If your kid thinks playing with something that looks anything like that photo is ok, rabies might not be your only concern.
ADHS, in collaboration with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have put together a video explaining the dangers of rabies, which you can view here.