IU Student Bitten By Rabid Bat In Dorm Room

Student Receiving Rabies Shots

An Indiana University student bitten by a rabid bat while he slept in his Bloomington dorm room is receiving rabies shots.

Offiicials said his roommate and a pest control worker who transported the bat also are receiving the 14-day regimen of shots.

IU spokesman Mark Land said the student was bitten on a hand Wednesday and shook the bat off in a hallway.

"There are no signs of dead bats or bat activity in the area. We are pretty comfortable there is not a nest of bats near the dorm," Land said.

The bat was later found alive in the hallway by a residence hall employee who called the pest control worker, who collected the bat and sent it to the Indiana State Department of Health for testing.

"Bats have the potential of carrying a virus called rabies. Rabies is fatal if a human catches it," Dr. Jennifer House said.

Students were notified about the incident via email on Tuesday.

"I'm glad I can stay infromed without having to go to meeting and stuff. I think its convenient. As college students, we are really connected via email and phone. I think its a good idea," freshman Ellen Turner said.

Health department spokesman Ken Severson said two other bats also tested positive for rabies last week. They were in the Fort Wayne area.

Despite the threat of rabies, animal advocates said bats are useful, and they eat an average 1,000 insects a day.

"(Bats) shouldn't be feared. They should be left alone. They do a world of good for us," said Jennifer Cunningham with Wild Care, Inc.

Meanwhile, IU student Justin Smith said the victim of the bat bite will have a very interesting story to tell for years to come.

"Who can say they've been bitten by a bat? Only a minority of the population. He'll have a good story to tell from now on," Smith said.

Print this article Back to Top