Community concerned after rabid bat found at Ft. Benning - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Community concerned after rabid bat found at Ft. Benning

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FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -

There's talk of rabies in one local community, and a concerned viewer wrote News Leader 9 asking for answers about a possible rabid bat at Fort Benning.

While it's not uncommon for bats to carry the disease, it's causing concern because a little girl was reportedly playing with the dead bat when it was found.

The bat was taken to the Fort Benning Veterinary Clinic where it was sent off for testing and was later confirmed to have rabies, according to the viewer.

The pest control representative allegedly noticed a cut on the little girls hand when removing the bat. What's even more shocking to the viewer is by the time we received the email, the viewer claimed the little girl had not been taken for medical attention.

We spoke to the director of the animal clinic at Fort Benning on Wednesday. Although this is a public health issue, Captain Sara McPeck told us she cannot speak on the incident nor confirm the test results of the bat.

We also reached out to public affairs, who say they were unable to get answers as well.

Rabies can be fatal to both humans and pets.    

As the disease progresses, it can also affect a human's nervous system. They can have seizures, hallucinations, as well as the foaming at the mouth when it gets to the severe point.

For people quick medical treatment can save your life… but for your four-legged friend, the fate is bleaker. The next option is humanly euthanize the animal.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

- If you are scratched or bitten by any animal, contact your physician immediately.

- Always keep your pet's rabies vaccine up to date.

- If your pet is bitten by another animal, contact your vet immediately and ask the owner to provide proof of rabies vaccination.

- If your pet comes in contact with a wild animal seek medical attention even if no wounds are visible.

Signs of a Rabies infection in a pet include:

- Behavioral changes – the animal may appear anxious, aggressive or more friendly than normal. 

- Hypersensitivity to light and sound

- They may also have seizures and/or become extremely vicious

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