New Philadelphia, Ohio - City public health officials say a bat that was collected in the Schoenbrunn Estates development has tested positive for the rabies virus.

New Philadelphia Environmental Health Director Lee Finley says the bat was collected on Monday after a resident called to report that the animal had been acting unusually.

The bat was sent to the Ohio Department of Health for testing and was confirmed to have tested positive for the virus on Thursday.

Finely says a pet cat was exposed to the bat and is undergoing medical attention and will most likely be in strict quarantine. No human exposure to the bat is known.

The public is advised to be aware of the wildlife in their yards and neighborhoods and to never under any circumstances handle a bat without gloves or some other type of personal protection or touch a sick or dead bat.

Information on bats and rabies can be found online on the Ohio Department of Health website.

City residents are encouraged to contact the New Philadelphia Health Department to report any bats behaving unusually or concerning bats found inside a home. The department can be reached by calling 330-364-4491 ext. 1208. Tuscarawas County residents living outside of New Philadelphia should contact the Tuscarawas County Health Department at 330-343-5555.

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