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Rats, with wings

Posted by Ralph Ranalli March 13, 2007 12:21 PM

Eptesicus Fuscus, more commonly known as "Yikes! There's bat in the house!"
(AP photo)


A bat captured in Needham recently tested positive for rabies, public health officials are warning.

The bat, detected in late-February, is the second found in the town with the potentially-fatal virus since September, according to the Needham Health Department.

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. In humans the virus enters the central nervous system, often causing a fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that rabies causes 55,000 human deaths a year worldwide.

The Needham Health Department has issued a warning that residents use caution if a bat is found indoors. Local health officials are advising residents to secure the bat in a room and contact the animal control officer at the Needham Police Department. The animal control officer will capture and transfer the bat to the state’s public health laboratory for testing.

For more information visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health online.

-- Laurent K. Meade

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