Wednesday, August 27, 2008

OK, so it's a weird question, but: Anybody bitten by a bat this weekend?

Senior Parkie Stuart Kenney just forwarded this announcement from the Tompkins County Health Department. Chances are good the guy with the dog and the bat bite is not an IC student or a reader of the Park blog. But hey, you never know....

So please pass the word: You get a bat bite, you need to have rabies shots. Like RIGHT NOW.


The Tompkins County Health Department must locate a man who was bitten by a rabid bat in a City park.

Contact Persons--Frank Chase or Skip Parr 274-6688

On Tuesday, August 26, 2008, the Tompkins County Health Department received word from the NYS Rabies Laboratory that a bat from a City of Ithaca public park has tested positive for the rabies virus. The bat was captured on Sunday, August 24, 2008, by the Health Department. It was on the ground in the park directly across West Marshall Street from the house at 112 West Marshall. This small park is directly across North Cayuga Street from the Northside Kinney Pharmacy and across Cascadilla Street from Gimme Coffee.

It is reported that a man walking a large dog off leash in the park picked up this bat from the ground with his bare hands and placed it in a small tree. At that time the man stated that the bat bit him. This man must begin the five-injection rabies post-exposure regimen immediately. Without rabies shots, this man could incubate rabies, become rabid and die.
Any assistance the media or the public can give to locate this man may save his life.

Remember, all bats are presumed to carry rabies unless proven not rabid by laboratory test! If possible, avoid contact with any bat. A bat bite, bat scratch or direct skin contact with a bat must be treated as a rabies exposure unless the bat is captured for rabies testing. When a bat is found near a sleeping person or unattended child, a rabies exposure is presumed because of the possibility that the bat directly contacted the person’s skin without the person knowing it. Capture the bat, freeze it to kill it and call the Tompkins County Health Department, Environmental Health Division at 274-6688 to arrange for it to be shipped to the NYS Rabies Laboratory for rabies analysis.


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