A bat disrupted the game between the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, Feb. 7, and health officials are urging anyone who had contact with the animal to contact a health care provider.
The Indiana State Department of Health said that people who attended the game might have been exposed to rabies, a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. Those who touched the bat without gloves or any protection should look into receiving a rabies vaccination.
While no harm was reported during the game, public health officials could not say whether the bat has rabies or not. Unfortunately, before any tests have been carried out, the bat had left the Bankers Life Fieldhouse where the game was held.
What Is Rabies?
Rabies is transmitted through contact with a rabid animal. In the United States, most cases of rabies infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), involve wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats.
Humans who might have the virus will experience symptoms similar to more common illnesses such as fever, headache, and weakness. More specific symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, excitation, agitation, hallucination, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, hydrophobia, and slight and partial paralysis might appear as the disease progresses.
What To Do If Bitten By A Rabid Animal?
The CDC says that to reduce the chances of infection is to immediately wash the bite wound immediately with soap and water. Patients should see their doctors so they can evaluate the physical trauma from the animal attack. The doctor, in consultation with the state or local health department, will decide if rabies vaccination is necessary or not.
Rabies is a medical urgency; those who have been exposed to a potentially rabid animal should seek care immediately before serious symptoms occur. If left untreated, rabies could cause death.
The disease is diagnosed through laboratory analysis in the patient and the potentially rabid animal.