Fans possibly exposed to rabies from bats at Ravens stadium - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Fans possibly exposed to rabies from bats at Ravens stadium

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BALTIMORE, MD -

There were more than Ravens and Lions at the NFL exhibition game Friday August 17th.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is alerting fans they may have been exposed to rabies from bats.

A bat reportedly landed on someone in the 500 section of M & T Bank Stadium during the game. The bat was brushed off and flew away so it couldn't be tested for rabies.  But the concern comes from the bat touching the fan and possibly others seated nearby.

Anyone that was in the 500 section of the stadium and had contact with the bat is being told to call their local health department.

DHMH Says, "The Bats are an important part of our environment; however, they can sometimes be infected with rabies. Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that can be transmitted by infectious saliva, usually through a bite."

"People should take special precautions if their pet encounters a wild animal," says Kim Mitchell, DHMH Chief of Rabies and Vector-borne Diseases. "Anyone who has had contact with a pet or a wild animal that they suspect might have rabies should consult with their health care provider as soon as possible. Rabies is a very serious disease that can be prevented with prompt medical assessment and timely vaccination following exposure."

Rabies after contact is prevented by a series of four vaccine shots given over 14 days and a dose of rabies immunoglobulin given at the beginning of the series.

To avoid being exposed to rabies:  

  • Have your dogs, cats, ferrets, and livestock vaccinated against rabies
  • Keep your pet under your control at all times, especially when traveling
  • Enjoy wildlife from a distance and do not feed wildlife 
  • Avoid sick animals and any that are acting in an unusual manner
  • Cover garbage cans securely and do not leave pet food outside
  • Do not relocate wildlife
  • Prevent bats from entering your home. If you find a bat in your home, do not touch it.  Only let it go if you are sure no people or household pets have had any contact with it.  If it is alive, you can catch it by placing a small box, bowl, or can over the bat once it has landed to roost, and then slide a piece of cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside.  Tape the cardboard to the container and contact your local health department or animal control agency.

 General information about rabies can be found on the Maryland Rabies page:

http://ideha.dhmh.md.gov/OIDEOR/CZVBD/SitePages/rabies.aspx


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