SUN CITY CENTER, Fla (WFLA) – Patti Andrews is still not sure how it happened. On Monday, she was detained by a rabid bat in the independent condominium bathroom, which she shares with a friend at the Sun City Center. "I was screaming, I said, this is a bat, ahhhh," Andrews said. "(And then I knocked it off."
She believes she unknowingly took the plague home from a parking lot on Upper Creek Drive, a few miles from her home, and helped her friend to come in for an appointment She was not sure what it was, "I did not know if it was a bird or something," Andrews said, "but it hit me "The back window of her car was partially open and she thinks that the bat in question flew in. When she got home, she brought in her belongings from the back of her car, and presumably the bat was in.
After you "I mean, I was really upset when that happened because I knew the implications," Andrews said, "and I knew I had the bat tested had to. "
You Hillsborough County called Pet Resources to have the bat tested, and she went to her doctor, who sent her to the local emergency room immediately. After informing the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County of what had happened, a representative told her to come to the vaccination center as soon as possible. She had planned to go the day after the incident, but instead went that day.
The bat tested positive for rabies.
Courtney Lemay is the rabies expert with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County and says that while cases involving rabid bats on a bright day are unusual, other cases with rabid animals are not. "There is rabies in our community, we have seen that, this is our seventh case this year," said Lemay. "There will always be rabies, especially among our four most high-risk animals, which are bats, raccoons, foxes and stray cats."
Andrew's story is a survival story, and she hopes others can learn from her terrible experience. Knowing angry animals and knowing what to do after a random interaction can mean the difference between life and death. "Get help right now, you need it right away," Andrews said. "You do not have to wait."