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29 Bats In Indiana Tested Positive for Rabies
Updated May 5, 2013 12:09 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(TERRE HAUTE) - Winged creatures going bump in the night have driven health officials a little batty this year.

29 bats in Indiana, including one in Vigo County, have tested positive for rabies this year
(TERRE HAUTE) - Winged creatures going bump in the night have driven health officials a little batty this year.
Department staff informed the Vigo County Board of Health of a growing problem concerning bats, and potentially rabies, in Indiana. The group addressed the issue quarterly board meeting Wednesday evening.

Environmental health supervisor Travella Myers said 29 bats have tested positive for rabies in Indiana this year, and one of those came from Vigo County. To date, six bats from Vigo County have been caught and tested, she explained.

Myers said the department's vector control division has been actively monitoring homes and buildings with reported bat problems, finding more than 30 in one structure. The potential for bites is present if the bats come in contact with humans, she said.

Vector control specialist Mike Grayless said victims might not know they've been bitten if the incident occurs while they're sleeping. Bat bites don't always leave observable marks and cases have been documented where people wound up in the hospital for no apparent reason. It wasn't until after their death that the cause was determined, he said.

Department administrator Joni Foulkes noted that Indiana has been a "rabies-free" state for a long time, but that could be changing. People need to be aware of the dangers posed by bat bites.

And, if a bat is to be tested for rabies, its head and brain must be intact, all said. Bats smashed or otherwise destroyed cannot be tested.

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