Union Springs day care center infested with bats for at least 3 weeks

Re-opening of bat-infested day care unclear

UNION SPRINGS, Ala. (WSFA) - Bats have taken over the attic at Turner’s Learning Center - two were found dead in the hallway on the first floor.

Owner Brenda Hill declined to answer any questions, but did make a lengthy statement of voluntarily shutting down the learning center.

The center voluntarily closed at ADPH’s and DHR’s request as a way of preventing any possible exposure.
The center voluntarily closed at ADPH’s and DHR’s request as a way of preventing any possible exposure. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“We are working diligently everyday straightening out this situation," she said.

Hill is getting high praise from Dr. Dee Jones for doing the right thing considering more than 50 children were enrolled in Turner’s Learning Center.

“There’ll be a clean up process and the health department will inspect," said Jones, the state’s public health veterinarian.

State health officials say there is no evidence the bats bit any of the children, but clearly the potential danger was there. In fact, WSFA 12 News learned Thursday this day care center had been infested with bats for at least three weeks.

“That was the most concerning thing for us," said Jones.

While bats play a vital role in the ecosystem, they are certainly nothing to mess with. Rabies are 100 percent preventable yet 100 percent fatal, according to Jones. All the more reason the state is strongly encouraging parents of the children to get vaccinated immediately.

“No one will be turned away that needs the vaccine," said Dr. Jones.

Hill wouldn’t talk about what steps she’s taking to rid the bats. Jones says the typical way is to set up a one-way reverse escape route, meaning close off the openings but allow them to fly out."

“We want our parents to know we love them," said Hill.

Hill promises Turner’s Learning Center will reopen but when is unclear. For now the bats rule the roost until further notice.

You may recall back in the old days, rabies shots were given in the stomach but not anymore, according to Jones. They are now administered in the arm.

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