Siouxland District Health Department officials say they are receiving an increasing number of bat-related rabies calls.
They say the calls peak in August and September.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources say these are the months when human and bat interaction typically increase.
In Iowa, bats are common carriers of rabies along with skunks.
Rabies is a deadly virus spread to people from the salvia and nervous tissue of infected animals, usually through an animal bite.
"Rabies in humans is 100 percent preventable through prompt, appropriate medical care," said Siouxland District Health Department Deputy Director, Tyler Brock "If you think you might have been exposed to rabies, you should clean the wound immediately and then contact your health care provider. It's also very important to try and capture the bat in order for rabies testing to take place."
Bat bites can be visibly undetectable and if you have physical contact with a bat, you should wash the exposed are thoroughly with soap and water.
If possible, the bat should be captured and tested for rabies.
If capture is not possible, you should seek medical attention.
Additionally, if a bat is found in the same room as an unattended child, a sleeping person, or anyone who cannot reliably communicate what happened, this is considered a potential bat exposure, and medical attention should be sought.
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