New Jersey Officials Issue Warning

New Jersey Officials Issue Warning New Jersey Officials Issue Warning After Woman Brings Home Possible Rabies-Infected Bat

A woman shopping with children at a South Jersey grocery store came into contact with a bat and now health officials fear they may have been exposed to rabies.

Just the thought of seeing a bat flying around while you’re grocery shopping is enough to skeeve out some shoppers at the ACME in Pilesgrove Township, but that’s exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon and one shopper decided to pick it up and take it home.

“I would not take it home. I would let someone know and leave it there,” said one shopper when asked what she would do if she saw a bat inside the ACME.

Salem County health officials are trying to find the woman who captured the bat to allegedly take it home and release it into the wild.

“She picked the bat up with her bare hands and maybe later wrapped the bat in a diaper and carried it out of the facility in a diaper,” said Shannon Gandy, an environmental health specialist.

Why the diaper? She was with three small children.

Now, health officials are worried she and the children may have been exposed to rabies.

“It’s not guaranteed that the bat had rabies, but you’re increasing your chances of coming into contact with a bat that has rabies,” said Gandy.

Officials don’t know exactly what kind of bat it was.

If the bat was released, there’s no way to test if it was infected.

Although, the fact that it was flying around the store during the day is concerning.

So officials are working with ACME to review surveillance and transaction records so they can identify and speak with the woman who picked up the bat.

“The severity behind it that rabies can act quickly and it can be fatal in a very short period of time,” said Gandy.

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