Rabid bat confirmed in Aiken, one dog exposed

Animals and Pets

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed the discovery of a rabid bat in Aiken County.

The bat was reportedly found between Trailwood Avenue and Mallard Lake Drive.

No people are known to have been exposed, as of this writing. One dog was exposed and has been quarantined since.

The bat was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on September 7, and was confirmed to have rabies on September 8.

“Rabid bats have been known to transmit the rabies virus to people and pets,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “People don’t always realize they’ve been bitten since bat teeth are tiny and bites are easy to overlook. Because of this, you should always assume a person has potentially been bitten when:
•    They wake up to find a bat in a room or tent;
•    A bat is found where children, pets, or persons with impaired mental capacity (intoxicated or mentally disabled) have been left unattended; or
•    A person or pet has been in direct contact with a bat.”

If you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come into contact with this bat or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Aiken office at (803) 642-1637 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday) or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).

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