February 5, 2018
Contact: Karen Lachapelle, Health Director – 252-641-7531
Recently, there have been bats found inside the Tarboro Veterans Museum. Wildlife agents and local animal control staff are investigating this matter further. If you have recently (in the past six months) visited the Veteran’s Museum and are concerned that you may have been in contact with a bat, please call the Edgecombe County Health Department at (252) 641-7505 for further investigation.
The Edgecombe County Health Department would like to advise you of the very small risk of rabies exposure due to a potential contact with a bat. Not all bats carry rabies, but they are considered a high-risk species for rabies transmission.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals and is most often transmitted when the rabid animal’s infectious saliva comes in contact with another mammal’s mucous membranes or fresh open wound. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.
Bat exposures are sometimes difficult to recognize because bats have tiny, sharp teeth that inflict limited injury, so a bite may not be evident. A bat bite is considered possible when a person was in a space where one or more bats were present and was either asleep, unconscious or otherwise incapacitated without being able to describe precise circumstances. Since bats can transmit rabies through superficial contact or an unnoticed encounter, any potential exposure to a bat requires a thorough evaluation and risk assessment.For additional information on Rabies and bat exposures please visit www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats or contact Edgecombe County Health department at (252) 641-7505.