Bradley Center bat reminds us danger of the flying rodent, even in the winter

CREATED Feb 4, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - A bat found during the Jan. 26 basketball game at Marquette University has reminded Milwaukee residents of the danger of bats, even in winter months.

According to state health officials, a rabid bat from northwest Wisconsin was diagnosed last week.

“It’s uncommon to find a rabid bat so early in the year, but bats have been diagnosed with rabies in January in the past,” said Dr. Jim Kazmierczak, State Public Health Veterinarian.

Kazmierczak said that although the majority of bats overwinter in caves and mines and become inactive, some may find shelter indoors and occasionally come into contact with people or pets.

“If there is physical contact with a bat, there would be the potential for rabies transmission to occur, assuming the bat was rabid,” he said.

In this case, the exposed person may need to receive the preventive series of shots to prevent rabies.

During the basketball game, both the Marquette and Providence basketball teams were questioned and no coaches or players reported any actual contact with the bat during the game.

While no spectators reported being touched by the bat at the Bradley Center, public health officials urge those who think they may have been touched by the bat to contact their local public health department.

While most bats in nature do not carry rabies, 29 rabid bats were detected in Wisconsin during 2012, according to state health officials.

Click here for more information about rabies. 

Click here for information on safe and humane ways to remove bats from a house or other structure, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends following these tips.