Residents warned to limit contact with bats

A biologist holds an young-of-the-year Indiana Bat caught with a net placed in the air over a logging road in Orwell, Vt., Tuesday evening, July 17, 2001. Teams of scientists have been fanning out across Addison County this week trying to learn the summer habits of the endangered Indiana bats. (AP Photo/Alden Pellett)

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Health officials in northern Kentucky are warning residents there to limit their contact with bats after an usually high number of people have gotten rabies vaccines due to exposure to the animals.

They say 13 people exposed to bats this year have decided to get vaccinated because bats commonly carry the disease, which is fatal if not treated.

Northern Kentucky Health Department spokeswoman Emily Gresham-Werle told The Kentucky Enquirer that usually only two or three people each year receive the vaccination because of exposure to bats.

Local and state health officials have speculated weather and loss of bat habitat have contributed to the high number.

Officials say the best way to avoid the vaccine shots after being bitten is to catch the bat and have it tested.

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