PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) - An unusual sight in downtown Providence last week as an unidentified man was in Kennedy Plaza, showing off a bat he had in a box.
It happened around 8:45 in the morning on January 23rd.
"This bat, we don't know if it had rabies or not", says Peter Hanney, Department of Health spokesperson. "So out of an abundance of caution we're asking people to please give us a call at the Department of Health."
Health officials were first alerted to the incident by a health care provider who treated two people who came in contact with the bat.
"Two individuals were treated, one for a bat bite and the other for suspected rabies exposure. They informed the health care provider that they received this from a bat in a box from an individual in Kennedy Plaza," adds Hanney.
Health officials say they're concerned about the incident because five percent of all bats have rabies and bat rabies is extremely contagious.
"There's different types of rabies, and the bat strain is really contagious. It doesn't need to be from a bite. It can be just from the saliva if it gets into any mucous membranes or small cuts that you may have on you, you can contract rabies that way too. left untreated it is deadly," says Hanney.
The unidentified man who originally had the bat in a box is in his 50's, about six feet tall with a beard and he was wearing glasses at the time.
Anyone who may have had contact with the bat are asked to call the Department of Health at 222-2577 or after hours at 272-5952, for a risk assessment.
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