Reporting Denise Koch
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An unusual health warning goes out to Ravens fans. Some people in the stands at last Friday’s game against the Detroit Lions may have been exposed to rabies.
Denise Koch has more.
When Ravens fans filled the stadium for the season’s first home game, they didn’t expect to encounter any wildlife.
But in section 500, a bat swooped through in the midst of the game against the Lions.
“I didn’t know, first of all, that bats could fly that high up but I didn’t see the bat,” Dave Rabinowitz, who sits in section 500, said.
Now, Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) wants to warn people sitting in section 500 that they could be at risk for rabies.
“Bats can trasmit rabies to people. They’re very small and they have small teeth, so it’s possible that a person could get bitten by a bat and may not notice it right away because the bite is hard to distinguish,” Kim Mitchell, chief of Rabies and Vector-borne Diseases at the DHMH, said.
But fans say bats in the bleachers won’t keep them from cheering on the Ravens.
“I think it’s just a fluke, and as long as people get themselves followed up and checked up, then, so be it,” Ravens fan Bob Murray said.
Health officials say people should not be worried if they see bats flying around outside and they should only call their doctor if they’ve had direct contact with a bat.
In Maryland, more than 200 animals have been diagnosed with rabies to date this year, including 40 bats and one deer.