Bats are beginning to seek shelter for the winter bringing more of them into contact with humans. Bats were reported at Creighton buildings, including one in a residence hall room, over the weekend. The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) has recently issued new guidelines regarding the definition of a bat exposure because bats can be carriers of rabies. DCHD now defines bat exposure as not only an actual bite (which there is often no evidence) but also includes finding a bat in a room where there are young children, an elderly person, are where people are sleeping or not alert. If you wake up and find a bat in your room, you have potentially been exposed.
The University is aware of the new guidelines and protocols for such instances. Do not try to capture the bat yourself. Public Safety at 402. 280.2104 should be alerted to any bats found in buildings on campus. Creighton community members (at home and on campus) are advised that in the case of any exposure the bat must be kept and evaluated by the Nebraska Humane Society. At home, try to isolate the bat in a room, place a towel at the bottom of the door and call the Nebraska Humane Society Animal Control at (402) 444-7800 ext 1; donít attempt to capture the bat yourself. If the bat cannot be evaluated, the person must endure the costly and painful treatment for rabies.
For more information contact John Baxter, Environment Health and Safety, at 402.280.2780.