A rabid bat was found in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, prompting public health officials to issue a warning to stay away from where the bat was found.

A pedestrian found the sick bat Tuesday, August 22, on the sidewalk at the intersection of NW 73rd and 8th Avenue NW. Animal Control was immediately alerted, but the bat died before Animal Control agents arrived.

Later, the bat tested positive for rabies, which can be life-threatening, but treatable if caught early.

“Anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk of getting rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief of Communicable Disease for Public Health – Seattle & King County. ”Fortunately, rabies can be prevented if treatment is given before symptoms appear, so identifying anyone who has had contact early is important.”

If you or your child had any contact with the bat at that intersection on August 22 or 23, please call Public Health immediately at 206-296-4774 to get information about preventative treatment. This includes touching a bat, being bitten, scratched, or any other bare skin contact with a bat or its saliva.