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Experts Say Bat Bite No Cause For Panic

An Indiana University student is recovering after being bitten last week by a rabid bat. Officials say the incident in one of the campus dormitories is not a cause for panic.

Director of Indiana State University’s Bat Center John Whitaker Jr. says students should not be concerned as residence halls are not common areas for bats to congregate.

“In a dormitory it just isn’t the right situation unless it was in the attic, and usually they can’t get down,” he says. “The bat probably came in the door with somebody although it’s a little early in the year for that, but it’s early in the year for a lot of things.”

Whitaker says the bat is most likely from the ‘big brown’ or ‘little brown’ species. A university employee discovered the bat after the bitten student disposed of it in a hallway. The bat was taken to the Indiana Department of Health where it tested positive for rabies.

IU spokesperson, Mark Land says students should be cautious if they come in contact with the animals.

“First of all, don’t pick it up and make it a pet. Resist the temptation to play with it or help it,” he says. “Call somebody if you’re in a dorm call your residence hall manager. They’ll send for the proper people to dispose of the bat.”

According to Land, the bat died before arriving at the state lab. Meanwhile the student, his roommate, and a pest control worker are receiving treatment.

Matt Winisowski contributed to this report.

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