NewsCovering America

Actions

Idaho reports first human death from rabies since 1978

EPTESICUS FUSCUS
Posted at 1:19 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 16:19:22-04

A man who encountered a bat in his home died from rabies, health officials in Idaho said.

The death is the first from rabies in Idaho since 1978.

“This tragic case highlights how important it is that Idahoans are aware of the risk of rabies exposure,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Christine Hahn. “Although deaths are rare, it is critical that people exposed to a bat receive appropriate treatment to prevent the onset of rabies as soon as possible.”

Officials said the man did not believe he was bitten or scratched by the bat when he encountered it in August. However, in October, he became ill and was hospitalized in Boise, where he died.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the man died from rabies, according to Idaho officials.

Anyone who may be at risk of contracting rabies is being contacted and could be given preventive treatment.