Nearly 50 Bats Found in Westchester Homes in One Week; Officials Warn About Rabies

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Some residents in Westchester are dealing with unwelcome guests -- bats! Health officials are now warning about the spread of rabies. John Chandler reports. (Published Thursday, Aug 14, 2014)

Westchester County health officials are warning residents about the possibility of rabid bats after nearly 50 of the creatures were brought in for testing during the first week of August.

None of the 43 bats brought to the Health Department tested positive for rabies, health officials said. But 17 people who were exposed to a bat and did not catch it had to begin preventive treatment.

Health commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler says that if county residents see a bat in their home, they should catch it and bring it in for testing.

Amler says that most bats that are tested are not rabid, so humans who may have touched the animals don't need to be treated for rabies.

But without the bat to test, anyone who has come in contact with a bat will probably need rabies shots.

Those who find bats in their homes are advised not to panic, and not to let the bat fly out a window. To learn how to safely capture a bat in your home, click here.

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