By Josh Faiola

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) - The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) is alerting the public that a brown bat has tested positive for rabies in Portsmouth. 

According to the DOH, the bat was found in the Common Fence Point section of Portsmouth. 

The bat was discovered by an onlooker on Saturday between 8:30 a.m and 9:00 a.m at the intersection of Massachusetts Boulevard and Anthony Road. 

According to the department, the bat, which was acting sickly was surrounded by a crowd of people. 

The bat was submitted by a Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist to DOH's State Health Laboratories for testing on Tuesday. 

The test was positive for Rabies. 

The DOH is asking anybody who may have had direct contact with the bat to immediately call the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 401-222-2577. 

The DOH should also be contacted if a pet may have come into contact with the bat. 

RIDOH and the DEM make the following recommendations to prevent rabies: 

  • Make Sure all dogs, cats, and ferrets are up to date on rabies vaccination.
  • Avoid all contact with and do not feed stray or free-roaming domestic animals. 
  • Avoid all contact with and do not feed wild animals 
  • Do not feed your animals outdoors, as this will attract other animals. This is especially dangerous when feeding large numbers of free-roaming cats. 
  • Protect your pet by always maintaining control; walk dogs on a leash or let them play in a fenced yard and do not let pets wander unsupervised.
  • Report all animal bites to our city/town's animal control officer
  • Securely cover all garbage cans so wild animals cannot scavenge for food. 

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2019