Bat found in North Little Rock near the Old Mill tested positive for rabies

    6:09 PM, Mar 16, 2012   |    comments
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    NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Officials say a bat found in North Little Rock tested positive for the rabies virus.

    NLR Animal Control says the bat did have contact with at least one person.

    They are urging people who live near the old mill to stay away from bats and other wildlife and make sure your pets are up to date with their rabies shots.

    "A young man was leaving the old mill on lake shore drive in North Little Rock and a bat landed on his leg he killed it, called us and we had it sent to the department of health to be treated," says Billy Grace.

    This week Grace with the NLR Animal Control found out the bat tested positive for rabies.

    "We contacted the victim he is now starting rabies treatment as a precaution only we do not know if he was bitten but bats have very small teeth so you can't always tell when they bite so contact is usually treated as a bite."

    Grace wants parents to make sure their kids aren't outside playing with wild animals so they won't become infected with the virus.

    Josh Hankins, owner of absolute wildlife, aggress with the message; just stay away. "When dealing with any urban wildlife, keep your distance. If you happen to see a bat, skunk, possum or raccoon keep your distance and don't approach the animal it could be very dangerous."

    Dangerous enough that Grace and his team are putting out flyers on people's doors within 5 blocks of where the man killed the rabid bat. "The rabies virus is fatal that's why precautions should be taken, use common sense, if you think you've been exposed you need to seek medical attention."

    Grace says the number one sign of rabies is odd behavior so if you see bats out during the day don't touch them and call animal control. Grace also added this is an isolated event and not an outbreak. The two most common carriers of rabies in Arkansas are skunks and bats.

    The Arkansas Department of Health has lots of information on rabies online. They have a map of current rabies reports for 2012 across the state as well as well as a summary of reports from 2011.

    Have a question about rabies? They have a helpful section of frequently asked rabies questions online as well including what to do if you are infected and what animals most likely carry rabies.

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