Here are some facts about rabies. Video of Jordan Window / lohud
Cat has your tongue, the dog has done your homework and … a rabid bat has closed the school.
Hearn Elementary School in Frankfort, Kentucky, was closed on Thursday as "a safety precaution" after a bat tested positive for rabies was found at the school's playground earlier this week.
Since then, four additional bats have been found and sent for examination, according to a spokeswoman for the Franklin County Health Department.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the school district said that the officials will carry out an inspection of the building Thursday and hope to reopen by Friday. The Ministry of Health praised the move and said it showed "great concern for the well-being of its students and staff".
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The first discovery made on Tuesday by a school employee is the The county's first positive rabies case in any animal since 2006, said health department spokeswoman Brittany Parker. But across the country there are on average 40 to 50 cases a year.
It is assumed that no students were exposed.
"It's not alarming statistics (to find a case)," Parker said. "At this point, we do not want to worry or worry anyone, we want them to be educated to know what the signs are when they see them."
Anyone who discovers a bat that is active during the day or unable to fly is urged not to deal with the bat. Residents who find bats in their home, yard, workplace, or elsewhere are asked to "quarantine" this area until an official arrives to catch and remove the bat.
A person who treated the first bat found on the playground was exposed to rabies but had a pre-exposure vaccine and planned to get a booster to prevent the disease, Parker said.
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Rabies is transmitted from animals to humans through the saliva of an infected animal, usually one Bites transmitted, according to a health department news release. In order to protect against an infection with the virus disease, it is recommended never to touch unknown or wild animals.
Testing of the four additional bats is expected to take around 24 hours, Parker said, adding that rabies testing is done on animals' brains.
"If you can imagine having to go to the bat's brain – it's pretty tiny," she said.
Darcy Costello: 502-582-4834; [email protected]; Twitter: @dctello. Support strong local journalism by signing up today: courier-journal.com/darcyc.
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