17:56 GMT25 January 2020
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    People who touched a bat Thursday night during an Indiana Pacers basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers may have been exposed to rabies, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

    The Department of Health has urged anyone who touched the bat flying around Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the the Pacers beat the Clippers 116-92, to consult a healthcare provider about receiving a rabies vaccination.

    ​"Since the bat is no longer in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the rabies status of this bat is unknown," the Department of Health wrote in a Sunday press release.

    "Although no reports of anyone having direct contact with the bat have been received, ISDH [The Indiana State Department of Health] is issuing this update as a precautionary measure," the statement adds.

    According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is a viral disease in mammals that is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.

    ​The rabies virus affects the central nervous system and can eventually cause death.

    The early symptoms of the disease in humans include fever, headache and general weakness. More severe symptoms that express themselves as the disease progresses include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing and hydrophobia (fear of water).

    If someone becomes infected with rabies, a rabies vaccine should be administered intramuscularly in the arm.

    "The first dose of the four-dose course should be administered as soon as possible after exposure. Additional doses should be administered on days 3, 7 and 14 after the first vaccination," the CDC outlines.


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