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Bat Bite — North Carolina, Green Cove

BAT BITE

North Carolina, Green Cove

On September 13, 1984, Edwina Wicker (20) was doing a top roped climb with her Outward Bound group when she was bitten on her middle finger by a bat. The bat, who was in a crack that several other climbers used, was captured by the staff so the Health Department could determine whether or not the bat had rabies. (Source: Carrie Hozena, North Carolina Outward Bound School)

Analysis

Bats are occasionally on several of the climbing areas in North Carolina (and elsewhere). This is the first report of anyone being bitten, and the response to the accident should be remembered. The victim was spared the potential of serious illness. Even if the suspected critter cannot be found, a shot series should be considered. In this case, the bat, though found not to have rabies, was captured an hour after the incident (using gloves, snake stick, and a bag), so in case it might have been a different bat, the victim took a series of shots. They had no side effects, and she was able to complete her program. (Source: J. Williamson)