The Salem County Department of Health and Human Service is requesting help from the media to alert the public for anyone who may have come into contact with a bat that was seen flying in the Pilesgrove Township Acme on Sunday, July 29, mid afternoon to call 856-769-1955. There is a potential risk for exposure to rabies since the bat was observed to be flying erratically during day time hours. The Department is specifically trying to locate a woman and her two children who were potentially exposed when she picked up the bat from the floor and said she was taking it home until dusk to release it.
According to eyewitness reports, the woman was seen showing the bat to someone prior to her leaving the store. Staff from the Environmental Division of the Salem County Department of Health and Human Services has interviewed Acme employees, and they are awaiting a review of the store’s surveillance footage. Local hospitals also have been contacted.
Rabies is a deadly disease and can be carried by bats. If bitten or saliva comes into contact with an open cut, rabies can be contracted. In this case, treatment must begin immediately since the bat is not available for testing.