ONEONTA _ A bat found in the city of Oneonta tested positive for rabies last month, an Otsego County public health official said Tuesday.

The bat was found in a home in a room where a man was sleeping, Public Health Department Director Heidi Bond said. Neither the man nor any animal was bitten, she said, and the bat was captured.

However, because the man was asleep in the room with the bat, he was given an anti-rabies treatment, Bond said. The public health department only releases information about the town of the incident, which occurred July 4.

The captured bat was sent to the Chenango County Department of Health, Bond said. Positive results were reported July 7, she said.

The bat was the first animal to test positive for rabies in Otsego County this year, Bond said. The most-recent previous case was a rabid skunk in the town of Morris in October.

Bond said her office has received about 20 calls since June reporting exposure to bats, such as a bat in a house or in a room where a person was sleeping. Warmer, humid weather recently may have prompted bats to leave roosting areas, such as attics, she said.

Bond reminded residents to secure doors and windows, including repairing holes or tears in screens. Bats can enter through a hole the diameter of a pencil, she said.

Also, dogs, cats and ferrets should be up to date on vaccines against rabies, Bond said. The next free clinic for pet vaccinations against rabies will be in Oneonta's Neahwa Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 25. Pet-owners don't need to pre-register.

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