CHARLOTTE, N.C. — WCNC Charlotte was the first to report that a student at Ardrey Kell was scratched by a bat earlier this week while on campus.
That student is now getting a series of rabies shots. This led us to the question, can a simple bat scratch really lead to rabies?
WHAT WE FOUND
According to the CDC, people can get rabies from bats if the bat bites or scratches them. The CDC says bat bites can be very small so a person might not always know when they have been bitten.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says most rabies cases in the U.S. are from bats because people don't know they were exposed because of how small a bite or scratch is.
The CDC says if you think you have been exposed to rabies, you should see your doctor or call your health department, even if you don’t feel a bite
But the good news? NCDHHS says most bats in North Carolina do not carry rabies. Rafael said while bats can carry rabies, the chances of that happening are very low.
"Numerous studies have come out that show that less than 1% of our bat populations actually carry the rabies virus," Rafael said. "And that's from testing the full wild population of bats."
Rafael said while we should remain vigilant around bats, they are actually really important for our ecosystem.
"Bats are so important for our ecosystem," she said. "And without that, our economy would collapse. They are responsible for pollinating multiple crops such as cotton, and agave."
According to CMPD Animal Care and Control, of the 21 bats that were tested from Ardrey Kell High School, all were negative for rabies.
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