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16-year-old boy bitten by infected bat

September 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 16-year-old boy is getting treatment after a bat with rabies bit him.It happened last week in Hemet, when he tried to pick up a bat off the floor.

Bats are nocturnal animals and play an important role in our ecosystem by eliminating many pests.

When they come in touch humans it can be a very serious situation because bats often carry rabies

"It's not an everyday occurrence where we have a case where we're collecting a bat and then it tests positive for rabies," said John Welsh from Riverside County Animal Control. "We deal with about eight or nine per year."

Sixteen year old Jose Lopez was bit on the tip of his little finger.

It happened in the auditorium of his charter school.

"At first I thought it was a bird," Lopez said. "I went over to pick it up to take it outside because it was broad daylight so why would a bat be outside."

Being a curious 16-year-old Lopez tried to pick up the bat and it bit him.

Shortly after the bite the bat died and lab tests showed that it had rabies.

Lopez has had to go through a series of shots in the arm and thigh.

"Thursday was five shots, then I went back on Sunday that's six shots, today is seven," said Annel Lopez, Jose's mother. "He has to get 3 more, its ten total."

Animal control officials say to stay away from bats if you happen to come in contact with one.

"If it looks dead it may not be dead," Welsh said. "If it bites you it is not a good situation at all."

Lopez is back in school and the shots appear to be working.

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