DHEC: Bat handled by children near zoo tests positive for rabies - FOX Carolina 21

DHEC: Bat handled by children near zoo tests positive for rabies

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(file/FOX Carolina) (file/FOX Carolina)

Officials are working to identify anyone who may have come into contact with a bat near the Greenville Zoo.

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, a bat was found on Oct. 1 at the playground area near Shelter 30 in front of the zoo.

The bat was reportedly handled by several young children before being turned over to zoo personnel.

On Oct. 5, DHEC said testing confirmed the bat had the rabies virus.

The agency recommends anyone who had direct contact with a bat near the Greenville Zoo around Oct. 1 to see immediate medical attention. Due to the small size of bats' teeth, their bites can easily go unnoticed.

"Rabies is a deadly, but preventable, viral disease that is transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the human body, usually through a bite, or contact with an open wound or areas such as the mouth or eyes," said Sandra Craig of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services. 

For questions or concerns about possible exposure, please contact DHEC's Environmental Health Services Greenville office at 864-372-3273. During times outside of normal business hours or on holidays, please call 888-847-0902.

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