Officials in Poplar Bluff work to rid school of bats - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Officials in Poplar Bluff work to rid school of bats

Animal Control Officer Mark Hastings said there's no reason for parents to be worried. Animal Control Officer Mark Hastings said there's no reason for parents to be worried.

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - School officials and animal control officers in Poplar Bluff are working to rid the high school of bats.

"We spotted two this week," said Superintendent Chris Hon. "One made contact with a secretary's hand. We sent it off to be tested for rabies and it was negative. There's no danger to students."

Mark Hastings is the animal control officer who captured the bat.

"They're basically like little mice with wings," said Hastings. "They can turn up everywhere. A lot of buildings in town have them in the attic. You know the secretary was pretty scared. We were happy to give her the good news that it didn't have rabies. We haven't had a rabies outbreak here in two or more decades."

Hastings said there's no reason for parents to be worried.

"No, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully they get taken care of," said Hastings. "Her hand was red. It may have been a bite it's hard to tell."

"It's something we consider very serious and we are working to keep them out," said Hon. "I have a son that goes to school here. I don't feel there's a health hazard. You know we have five kids that made all state volleyball this week and three that made all state choir. There's a lot of academics going on here that we are more excited about than bats"

Hon says they've actually had bats in the building on and off for the last decade. They are trying to plug up holes and keep more from getting in.

Local doctors say they are more concerned about diseases carried by bat dung than rabies. They say they are also more concerned about staff and janitors that may clean the areas. Health experts don't see a big risk for students. But, they say it is a concern.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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