State health officials say a search has located a southeastern Iowa family who dropped off a rabid bat at the state hygienic lab in Coralville. State Health Department veterinarian Russell Currier says the bat dropped off by a Riverside family last Thursday tested positive for rabies, but they didn’t know the family’s name. The state put out a call for the unknown family to come forward, as Currier says they need to find out more information. He says they need to review the history of the family’s exposure to the bat to see if they may’ve been exposed to the rabies. Currier says rabies cases in humans are rare.He says we’ve only had one case of bat-transmited rabies in Iowa, but there are three cases nationally a year. Currier says the victims often don’t know they’re bitten. He says if someone in the family has been exposed to rabies, then they’ll have to undergo a series of shots.He says one product in the shots gives instant immunity from someone else that degrades over time and then their immunity is actively stimulated with a vaccine. Currier says the shots have proved extremely affective. He says no one whose gotten the treatment since 1980 has gotten human rabies. Last fall, a Cedar Rapids man became the state’s first rabies fatality in 50 years.
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