Health officials are urging anyone who came in contact with a rabid bat in downtown Bangor to seek medical attention.

The bat was spotted in the general area outside the Shaw House in Bangor, during the weekend of March 16th and 17th. Officials captured the bat and took it to Maine's state laboratory, where it tested positive for rabies. Now, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is urging anyone who came into contact with the bat to call them at 1-800-821-5821 or see a doctor as soon as possible. The contact had to be skin to skin, so only people who handled the bat with bare hands are at risk.

Rabies can be spread to humans through bites and scratches, but also by coming into contact with saliva or neural tissue from an infected animal. Health officials added that the Shaw House is a safe place to go and that just being inside the Shaw House does not put anyone at risk for rabies.

Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and spinal cord, and can cause death if left untreated. Rabies in people is very rare in the U.S., but rabies in wild animals is common. The best protection is to avoid contact with wild animals, and any animals unknown to you. And to keep pets vaccinated, so they don't bring it home.

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