Rabies vaccinations offered on Cape after bat’s positive test

After a bat tested positive for rabies earlier this month in the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, town officials said an animal hospital will offer impromptu pet rabies vaccinations for local residents.

The Eastham Veterinary Hospital will hold the rabies clinic on on March 2 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at its Wellfleet location, called the Duck Creek Animal Hospital off Route 6. The clinic will offer local residents’ pets a one-year rabies shot, and a three-year booster shot with proof of prior vaccination. Both options cost $15.

Local agencies will hold several clinics sometime in April, which is also rabies awareness month, according to Wellfleet officials.

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Although the bat found in Wellfleet tested positive for rabies, no humans were exposed to the disease, animal control officials said. The man who caught the bat works for a wildlife rehabilitation center, so he most likely received a booster shot for his rabies vaccination, according to animal control.

Rabies can be contracted through the saliva of a rabid animal, and infects the brain and central nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Although human rabies cases are relatively rare, a Cape Cod man died in January 2012 after contracting the disease the year prior.