The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

State & National News

July 10, 2013

Summer Increases Risk of Exposure to Bats and Related Health Risks

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 — Raleigh, N.C. — During the height of summer and mosquito season, bats flying through the night sky are typically a welcome sight. But when bats venture indoors, it may be a different story.  According to wildlife experts, May 1 through July 31 is the time of year for bats to care for their newborn pups in maternity colonies and it is very common for the animals to roost in attics and crawl spaces.  While the insect-eating mammals are very important to maintaining ecosystems worldwide, they also can transmit rabies and other disease to humans.

DHHS public health experts suggest taking precautions to protect yourself and your family:

If you awaken to find a bat in your room, tent or cabin, do not release it.  Instead, safely confine the bat to the room or tent, be sure all people and pets vacate and contact your local animal control to have it captured and tested for rabies.

Seek medical advice immediately.  Bat bites can be difficult to detect and may not cause a person to wake from a sound sleep.  If you have had any contact at all with a bat, even if you do not think you have been bitten, you must still talk with a physician.  You may have been exposed to rabies.

If you know you have been bitten, thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water before seeing a doctor.

Never handle a bat with your bare hands.  If you need to capture it before animal control arrives, follow safety guidelines as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). See a video demonstration.

If bat or bird droppings have accumulated in an attic for example, care should be taken to avoid stirring up and breathing the dust.  Fungal spores in the droppings may cause disease when inhaled by some people. Contact your local health department or an industrial hygienist for guidance on cleaning up bat droppings, or guano.

Unless it is determined to be a health hazard, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) recommends that exclusion of bats from the entire structure not be performed from May 1 to August 1 because bat maternity colonies may be present. Removal, or exclusion, may also be illegal if it results in the death of bats, some of which may be federally protected under the Endangered Species Act or state Threatened or Special Concern species.

 

To prevent bats from entering your home, examine your home carefully and seal openings in doors, windows and screens, attics and chimneys that may allow bats access to your living spaces.  You may also wish to consult with a trained and licensed Wildlife Damage Control Agent for assistance.  A county-by-county listing is available online.

 

For more information on rabies in North Carolina and links to current rabies data, visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/rabies.html.

 

1
Text Only
State & National News
  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 15, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    WASHINGTON - The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 15, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    SAN FRANCISCO - Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 13, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 12, 2014

  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 12, 2014

  • Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babies

    As Easley did more research into her daughter's death, she learned that a pilot program had started just months earlier at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. (Easley had delivered at a different hospital in the Washington area.) The program's goal was to screen every newborn with a simple pulse oximeter test that can help detect heart problems such as Veronica's, allowing doctors to respond.

    April 10, 2014

  • 140407_GT_OUT_Forster_1.jpg Revolutionary War flag could fetch millions at auction

    MANCHESTER, MASS. - An iconic piece of history from the Revolutionary War is up for auction through Doyle New York, an auction and appraising company in New York City.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 2012_Mazda6_--_NHTSA.jpg Brakes, steering and...spiders? What's behind the latest auto recalls

    11 million vehicles have already been recalled in 2014 for everything from power steering failure to vulnerability to spider attack.

    Check out the full list of 2014 recalls.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content