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After rabid bat found attached to Woodford County child, state veterinarian urges caution

The Big Brown bat is the most common bat to be found inside Kentucky homes, according to Christine Casey, state veterinarian for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources.
John MacGregor
/
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources
The Big Brown bat is the most common bat to be found inside Kentucky homes, according to Christine Casey, state veterinarian for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Woodford County’s public health director said the Midway boy apparently bitten by a rabid bat while sleeping last week is expected to recover. Cassie Prather said the child’s family is being treated, too. Dr. Christine Casey is the state wildlife veterinarian for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. She said people shouldn’t overreact when they see a bat.

“What we typically would get a lot of calls about was, ‘I walked into a room and a bat was flying around.’ That does not equal exposure. And I think that's the clear distinction, is you are alert and you have, all cognitive functions are there, you walk into a room and see a bat – that's not a rabies exposure.”

Casey said last year in Kentucky, 285 bats were tested for rabies and 15 – 5 percent – had the fatal disease. She recommends bat-proofing homes, but said that can’t be done between May 15th and August 15th.

“Because say you have a mother that goes out and is feeding, comes back to take care of her pups, you do an exclusion method and you block that mother, you're going to have a whole bunch of pups that can't fly yet that are probably going to die up there.”

Casey said healthy bats want nothing to do with people and are great pollinators and insect-eaters.

 Fish and Wildlife Resources rabies information

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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