Surprise! You have a rabid bat in your bathroom
By Sara Gregory
The upstairs bathroom in Janice LaMotte’s home usually is reserved for guests.
One uninvited guest found its way in last week: A housekeeper came across a rabid bat.
“We just closed the door back up, put a towel under the door and called Animal Control,” LaMotte said.
Animal Control officers removed the bat, and it later tested positive for rabies.
This is Rowan County’s fourth documented case of rabies this year.
In March, a Gold Hill woman fought off a rabid fox but not before it bit her leg.
Bats found inside should be left alone, and Animal Control should be contacted immediately so the animal can safely be removed and then tested for rabies.
Bats are the primary source of human rabies in the United States and are particularly dangerous because they can bite without the individual being aware of the attack.
In North Carolina, several species are protected endangered species and cannot be killed or exterminated. You should not try to capture the bat on your own.
Finding the bat inside was a surprise, LaMotte said.
“We’ve seen them around, but never had one actually get in the house,” she said.
Anyone who suspects they might have been bitten by an animal with rabies should seek medical attention immediately. Rabies is fatal if untreated.
Contact Sara Gregory at 704-797-4257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.