An 86-year-old man from South Hampton, New Hampshire had to seek treatment after being bitten by a rabid bat while inside his home.
New Hampshire Man Bitten By Rabid Bat Inside His Home
Roy Syvertson recounted that he was seated in his living room, using his iPad, when the incident happened.
"I always do the same thing: I just open it up like that and flip it around, and then usually put it in between my legs like that," he explained to WMUR. "It felt like a bee sting."
He explained that the bat hid between the iPad cover and the iPad. As soon as Syvertson realized what happened, he immediately pressed down on the device to keep the animal from escaping inside the house.
He immediately went outside to set the bat free. However, the next morning, the bat was still there, hanging around near the house. That same night, he found the bat dead.
"Then I knew I might have a problem," he stated.
Syvertson immediately phoned the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game to report the incident. He was told to immediately go to the hospital for rabies treatment.
The authorities also collected the dead bat for testing and found that it is positive of rabies.
Luckily, Syverton stated that he feels fine and is now recovering in his home. He does not know how the bat got inside the house and into his iPad.
He hopes that his story will inform the public about the risk of rabies.
What To Do When Bitten By A Rabid Animal
Rabies is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most reported cases of rabies occur in wild animals, including raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats. Pets and livestock can be infected, too.
People who have been infected with the virus might experience fever, headache, and general weakness. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, confusion, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing, hydrophobia, and slight or partial paralysis.
If left untreated, rabies can cause death.
If bitten by a potentially rabid animal, public health experts recommend that patients wash their wounds to reduce the chance of infection. Use soap and running water.
Immediately seek medical care. The CDC said that rabies is a "medical urgency" and should not be delayed.