Family taking no chances after rabid bat lands on toddler son

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh family is getting rabies shots after a rabid bat landed on their 2-year-old.

It started out like any afternoon. Paige Martin said she was outside with her 2-year old son on Cokesbury Lane in North Raleigh. Her son was playing in a backyard sandbox when she noticed the bat.

“I looked down and it clicked: Oh my goodness, there’s a bat literally hanging from his arm,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to get this thing off of him.’”

She knocked it off with a shovel.

Her husband, Jason, heard her screaming and ran to help.

“I just grabbed a little garden tool and helped get the bat out of the sandbox,” he said. “It didn’t look right. It wasn’t flying away or anything like that. I thought I could kind of get out of there, but it wasn’t moving, so we ended up kind of scooting it over into the edge of the woods.

“And then we called animal control. Later on, they came and got it and had it tested.”

They didn’t know if the bat had bitten their son. Because it had touched him, he needed rabies shots right away. A day or two later, they got a call from the health department and learned the bat tested positive for rabies. The health department recommended that anyone who came in contact with the bat should be treated.

The Martins said their whole family and another toddler in the neighborhood are all being treated for possible rabies exposure.

“Rabies is one of those things you don’t you don’t take a risk with it because the fatality rate is like 100 percent,” Jason said.

With treatment, everyone should be fine. The Martins said they’re thankful for the quick response from Animal Control.

“It’s another reminder just to be super cautious when you do send your kids out to play,” Paige said.

They said they still aren’t sure where the bat came from. They didn’t see it swoop down from the sky. They said that although it had been covered, they think it’s possible it somehow got into the sandbox.

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