Rabid bat in St. Louis County prompts warning to residents

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) _ A bat in St. Louis County has tested positive for rabies, and health officials say it should serve as a reminder for people to be cautious around bats and other wildlife.

The county said Wednesday that the bat is the first to test positive for rabies this year in St. Louis County. Health director Faisal Khan says residents should never handle or interact with wild animals because some of them carry rabies.

Wild animals acting strangely should particularly be avoided. Pet immunizations should be up to date since wild animals can pass rabies to domestic pets. Once the symptoms of rabies begin there is no cure and the disease is fatal.

Residents who encounter a bat in their home, even if the bat is dead, should contact the health department.