Louisville health officials warn public about dangers of handlin - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville health officials warn public about dangers of handling bats

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Doctors say several Louisville children were potentially exposed to a deadly disease this month after touching an animal known to carry the disease. 

It happened after the toddlers came into contact with a bat while playing at a local playground. Those kids, all under the age of 2, had to get rabies shots and vaccinations after handling the bat. 

They found it under a slide in broad daylight. Because of that, officials say the animal was likely sick. So far this year, there have been 10 rabid bats reported in Kentucky, including one confirmed case in Louisville.

In this area, bats are the primary carrier of rabies. 

There is no treatment for rabies, and doctors say symptoms might not show up for weeks, or even years after exposure. 

Health officials ask parents to remind kids to stay away from bats, especially if you see them in everyday places.

"Typically, it's in a house or a playground or someplace where the bat just goes to try and roost, it doesn't go into its normal habitat," said Dr. Joann Schulte with the Louisville Health Department. 

Doctors say you may not even know that you've been bitten, so if you see a bat, it's best to just stay away. And experts say if a bat does enter your home, it should be removed by a trained specialist -- don't take a chance on being bitten by trying to do it yourself. 

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