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Rabid Bat Enters South St. Paul Home, Bites 10-Month-Old

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SOUTH ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A family got the scare of their life when a bat entered their South St. Paul home during the night in August.

“I heard something, something like rustling papers,” said Emily Horton. “So, I woke up and couldn’t believe that there was a bat flying over our heads, and I start like pushing my husband, you know, ‘there’s a bat in the house. Get up!’”

Emily and her husband, Pat, had to think quickly how to protect their two young sons. They also needed a plan to capture the creature at the same time.

“I think both of our adrenaline was really, really pumping,” said Emily.

She says the bat was flying around upstairs, swooping down in front of them. At one point, it even flew directly above their 10-month-old, Andrew, who was in his crib. The couple later found out the bat bit him.

That’s when Pat went to grab a lid from a plastic box in their storage room.

“We wanted to make sure we’d hit it, swing it, knock it down,” said Pat.

Pat said he hit the bat hard and it fell to the floor. Within a few minutes, with the lid still on top of the bat, he scooped it into a plastic bag.

The family immediately headed to the Emergency Room at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Their sons needed shots following exposure to the bat. Both parents got their shots a few days later.

Emily did what Minnesota Health Department officials say you should do: she took the bat to the University of Minnesota where it was tested for rabies. That test came back positive.

Bats are most active in August heading into fall, looking for some place to go in winter, including trees in the woods and caves. They’ve been known to sneak through chimney screens and fly down into homes. They can also enter through open doors, windows and window screens with holes.

Minnesota Health Department officials suggest making sure your attic and basement are well-sealed, and, if you have a chimney, the damper is kept closed when it’s not being used.

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