Friday, August 24, 2012

Possible Rabies Exposure at NFL Pre-Season Game

Came across this news the bats at the ol' ballgame are not always those used by the players.

 I have heard of rabid football fans, but this is too literal.

Possible Rabies Exposure at M&T Bank Stadium

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Phil Yacuboski 
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is warning people who attended last week’s pre-season football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions of a possible rabies exposure.

A bat reportedly landed on someone sitting in Section 500 at M & T Bank Stadium during the Friday, August 17th game.  The state health department said the bat was brushed off and flew away and they could not test for rabies. 

It is possible that other people seated in that area touched the bat. 

They are asking people if they have come in contact with the bat to please contact the local health department. 

“People should take special precautions if their pet encounters a wild animal,” said Kim Mitchell, DHMH Chief of Rabies and Vector-borne Diseases in a news release. “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.”

Should a person be bitten by or exposed to the saliva of a rabid animal, doctors are able to prevent the disease by giving people several doses of a rabies vaccine. 

Every year about 900 people are given such a vaccine in Maryland.

Here’s some advice from the health department on how 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.

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