BALLWIN, Mo. – A rabid bat bit a man from west St. Louis County last week, marking the county’s first confirmed rabies case this year.

The man went to the hospital for treatment after the bat bit his finger. According to the St. Louis County Public Health Department, the bat bit a man last Wednesday in Ballwin after he tried to defend a bat that was being attacked by a bird.

Saint Louis County Animal Care and Control responded to the area and trapped the bat.

The Missouri Department of Health’s Animal Care and Control division recently euthanized the bat and sent it to the Missouri Public Laboratory, which confirmed the bat carried rabies.

Rabies is a potentially fatal disease when contracted by humans. The patient received a rabies vaccination and a tetanus booster shot after he was bitten by the bat. This prevented him from contracting rabies.

The St. Louis County Public Health Department issued an advisory Monday with the following message:

The case should serve as a reminder to stay away from wild animals. In the event of accidental contact or exposure within a home, defined as animal in living quarters when occupants are not “awake or aware”, seek treatment even if you are unsure about being bitten. Also, please supervise children in situations where they may come into contact with wildlife.

To report a bat bite, call the Saint Louis County Animal Care and Control at 314-615-0650 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday or 636-529-8210 after business hours.