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Bat with rabies found at Polk County school | News

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Bat with rabies found at Polk County school

Bartow, Florida -- A student at Summerlin Academy in Bartow may have come in contact with a rabid bat, the Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section confirmed Wednesday.

It's the eighth positive rabies case in Polk County in 2012.

School officials say a female student reportedly touched the bat, however, the girl had not been identified. 

The bat was impounded by animal control on Monday, Nov. 26 and sent for testing. It was confirmed as positive for rabies by the State Laboratory.

The Polk County Health Department was contacted to work with the school to identify the child.

The sheriff's office list these previous incidents this year of rabid animals within the county: 

1. On Thursday, Jan. 12, a two-year-old dog attacked and killed a raccoon in the 4800 block of Elam Road in Lakeland.

2. On Friday, March 9, the owners of a 9-year-old Labrador retriever found their dog barking at a bat in their yard located on Lake Tennessee Drive in Auburndale.

3. On Saturday, March 17, three stray dogs entered onto the property located on Flood Court in Bartow and together attacked and killed a raccoon.

4. On Sunday, April 29, a resident of Broken Arrow Trail in Lakeland found his dogs with a dead raccoon.

5. On Tuesday, May 2, a man encountered a bat in the driveway of his Pine Street residence in Mulberry.

6. On Friday, May 11, a resident of Sand Mountain Road in Fort Meade found his two dogs with a dead raccoon.

7. On Tuesday, Aug. 28, a bat was found inside Tenoroc High School, located at 4905 Saddle Creek Road in Auburndale.

Residents are reminded that bats and raccoons are among the mammals considered to be high risk species or "rabies vector species" (RVS).

Officials warn residents not to approach any animal which is acting in an unusual or suspicious manner.

If you think you or your pet has had an "exposure" you're asked to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section at (863) 499-2600.


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