Fayetteville mother worries about rabid bats in apartment comple - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Fayetteville mother worries about rabid bats in apartment complex

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Bats were found in a small space in the eaves of an apartment building at Melvin Place in Fayetteville. Bats were found in a small space in the eaves of an apartment building at Melvin Place in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Two more bats from Cumberland County have tested positive for rabies.

One of those bats was found at the same apartment complex in Fayetteville where two other rabid bats were reported earlier this year.

State health lab officials released the results Tuesday. One of the bats that test positive was picked up on Riddle Road off of Yarborough Road in the St. Pauls area.

With the second bat, the state health lab reported an "unsatisfactory" result due to trauma, but officials are treating it as a positive case.

That bat was picked up at Melvin Place off of Rosehill Road.

 

A woman named Takeasha, who did not want to share her last name, said the first two rabid bats were found outside her apartment. The first was found in June, the second in July. The third one was flying through her apartment on Friday.

She said experts sent by the Fayetteville Housing Authority did not find any bats nesting in the building after she found that second bat in July. However, a wildlife officer did find an infestation of bats weekend - in a small space in the eaves.

Wednesday, workers were back at the building to replace those parts removed to let the bats out. Housing Authority Director Dawn Driggers said the bats are endangered and cannot be killed, but there are now materials in place to hopefully keep them out.

Takeasha said she and her two children are now going through a third series of rabies shots because of the bats. It is a requirement each time a rabid bat is found in such close proximity to them.

"If we come in contact with another one we'll have to get the same series over and over," she said. "My daughter is traumatized by it. I really have to hold her down."

So she has requested a move from the housing authority to avoid another rabid bat. She is not sure the bats will not return.

"It's not enough comfort," she said. "That is why I put in a request to be moved because I just didn't want to see my children going through this."

Driggers would not say why a move has not been granted. She did say other units are not always available. Also, Driggers said the affected apartment unit would not be kept vacant anyway. So the priority is getting rid of the bats.

"Just like someone in a home. You can't just sell your house in move if there's a problem," Driggers said. "You try to fix it."

Health Director Buck Wilson is advising parents of children that may have come in contact with a bat during the last couple of days to call 910-433-3707 immediately.

There have been 12 cases of rabies in Cumberland County since Jan. 1.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal:

  • Immediately wash the wound under running water for at least 10 minutes with lots of soap. Seek medical attention/advice.
  • Call Animal Control at 321-6852 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call the Sheriff's Office at 323-1500 after 5 p.m., weekends and holidays.
  • Go to the emergency room.

It is important to vaccinate your pets for rabies and keep their shots current. Pet owners are reminded that all dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, as required by state law. Pet owners are subject to a $100 fine for each unvaccinated dog or cat. Pets must be vaccinated when they reach the age of four months.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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