Rabid bat bites Charles City County woman

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHARLES CITY, VA (WWBT) – A Charles City County woman has a frightening encounter with a rabid bat. She wants to help warn others about the danger, after being bitten at her home.

It started off as a typical summer afternoon for the Seymour family. They were enjoying an afternoon at their pool when things turned dangerous.

Stephanie Seymour was testing the water temp beside her pool's skimmer. She couldn't see was the bat caught inside.

"I felt something like a sting, just felt something rub up against me, so I jerked my hand out and it was attached to my hand," said Stephanie. "It was just flopping around and hissing and making all kinds of crazy noises."

She killed the bat. Animal Control picked it up, so the Health Department could test it. It turned out to be rabid, and though the bite was small, Stephanie is now undergoing treatment.

"Hopefully everything goes okay with that, but it just concerns me because of my kids and stuff, and it really bothers me that the county doesn't really want to do any further investigations, because if the bat is rabid, what else is rabid around this area?" she asked.

Charles City is in the Chickahomony Health District. A spokesperson says while a rabid animal of any kind is a concern-- this is the first rabid bat in Charles City this year. In fact, less than half of one percent of all bats actually carry rabies. Still, the Health Department urges everyone to steer clear of wild animals and keep your pets up to date on their shots.

Remember too that unless it's an emergency, Animal Control only deals with domestic animals and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries specializes in bigger wildlife like bears. They will typically "not" respond for something like a raccoon, possum or bat.

If you have small wildlife on your property, you'll need to call a licensed nuisance control specialist. But in this case--the bats are nesting in area trees, so the Seymours are just keeping their eyes peeled and warning their neighbors.

If you do need to contact a nuisance wildlife specialist, there are dozens of listings in your phone book. For more information, click here.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.