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A Rabid Bat Fell Out Of A Student’s Pocket Amidst Public Health Warnings About The Presence Of Rabid Bats Around Texas

The abundance of bats within the state of Texas gives some residents the creeps, and this is understandable, as the airborne critters spread rabies to humans and they often appear within homes in the state. There exists 33 documented bat species inhabiting Texas, most of which do not dwell near human living conditions. However, of these 33 species, 11 are known for dwelling near human populated areas, and each one is known to transmit rabies to humans. Six bat species in Texas regularly inhabit homes and buildings, while four solitary bat species are known for roosting within manmade structures. It is not uncommon for Texas public health officials to issue warnings to the public when rabies-infected bats are thought to be prevalent within urban and suburban areas. For example, not long ago, residents of the Lakewood neighborhood in Dallas were put on alert when officials discovered two dead bats in the area that later tested positive for rabies.

Most human rabies cases are not transmitted by rabid bats, but during 2015, bats were the most frequently reported rabid wild animals in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although bats are not known for aggressively attacking and biting humans, people can still acquire rabies from bats if they go far out of their way to disturb the critters. Last year, an elementary school student was lucky to have avoided a rabies diagnosis after a live rabid bat fell from his jacket pocket as he was violently twirling the jacket around in the air.

Immediately after the live bat fell to the ground from the boy’s jacket pocket, deputies were called to the school to handle the situation. Nobody could understand how a live bat wound up in the boy’s jacket, but the animal was “confiscated” before it was examined in a laboratory where it tested positive for rabies. The boy’s name and age was not released to media outlets and there was no word on how the live bat responded after falling from the pocket. Apparently, the boy was subject to some form of discipline for his actions, but he likely took the punishment in stride after realizing how close he came to contracting rabies.

Have you ever found a bat in your home that had been resting on the ground or in any other location besides walls and ceilings?

 

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