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Nearly 200 people possibly exposed to rabid bat at Nebraska zoo sleepover

This slumber social gathering bites.

Nearly 200 people who paid to participate in a sleepover occasion at a zoo in Nebraska are being urged to get rabies pictures — as a result of they could have been exposed to a rabid bat, in accordance to officers.

A camper awoke at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha on July four and noticed one of many disease-carrying mammals flying close to her head, the zoo mentioned Friday.

The lady wasn’t scratched or bitten, however the zoo later discovered seven wild bats  — together with one which examined optimistic for rabies — contained in the venue and mentioned up to 186 people might have been exposed.

“The bats we recognized have been little brown bats, a typical bat species in Nebraska that anybody might discover of their yard or attic,” mentioned Doorly Zoo Animal Well being Director Dr. Sarah Woodhouse. “It’s not uncommon for a wild bat to be contaminated with rabies, which is why it is best to by no means immediately contact a wild bat.”

The zoo gave campers who slept over between June 30 and July four refunds and is paying for his or her pictures.

It wasn’t instantly clear how the bats received into the venue, however staffers didn’t discover any indicators of long-term bat roosting, officers mentioned. The zoo has since moved in a single day tenting occasions elsewhere.

Inside the Bat Cave, part of the Kingdoms of the Night exhibit.
The zoo later discovered seven wild bats  — together with one which examined optimistic for rabies — contained in the venue and mentioned up to 186 people might have been exposed.
Omaha Zoo Handout

Animal lovers who visited the aquarium through the day needn’t concern an infection as a result of bats come out solely at evening, Woodhouse mentioned.

In latest months, the zoo has provided shark-centric in a single day “Sleeping Bag Safaris.” It ranks among the many world’s prime 5 aquariums, in accordance to its Web page.

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Donna Miller

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