Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Bats & Rabies

Yes, a bat can give you rabies.

Bats flying in the air

Bats are mammals - warm-blooded animals with fur - so they can get rabies. The only way they can give YOU rabies is if you are bitten by one.

Most bats don´t have rabies, but you can´t tell just by looking. If you see a bat, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Or if you wake up in a room with a bat, tell your parents or an adult.

Bats only come out when the sun is down. If you see a bat that can´t fly, or see a bat during the day, there might be something wrong. The bat maybe sick, and you should be sure to stay away.

Bat hanging on the roof of a cave

Even after being careful, if you still get bitten, wash the bite really well with soap and water. Tell an adult and go right away to a doctor. If an adult can safely catch the bat, take it with you so the doctors can send it to be tested to see if it has rabies. If the bat doesn't have rabies, then you're all clear.

If no one can catch the bat, or if the tests say the bat has rabies, your doctor will give you a series of shots to make sure YOU don't get rabies. But don't worry; they don't hurt any worse than a regular shot!

 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO