MINNEAPOLIS — Students, staff and those who spend time near the University of Minnesota (U of M) campus are being warned about having contact with a bats showing signs of rabies.
In a safety alert, the U of M says the bat in question was spotted on a sidewalk near the Donhowe building around 11 a.m. Wednesday, October 2. The bat's behavior and the time of day it was seen suggests it may have rabies.
Staff from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) were called, but the bat flew away before they could capture it. MDH spokesperson Andrea Ahneman says the agency has confirmed two people who had contact with the bat, and is concerned there may be others.
The alert asks anyone who may have had physical contact with the bat to call their health care provider right away, or contact MDH at 651-201-5414 or 1-877-676-5414 to determine whether rabies shots are necessary.
MDH warns that bats in Minnesota can carry rabies and people should avoid contact with them. Rabies is a fatal illness that is transmitted through bites from infected animals. Bats are of particular concern because their teeth are so tiny that a bite may not be felt, or even leave a noticeable mark.
To learn more about rabies and how to protect yourself visit the MDH Rabies website.