Health officials warn of possible rabies exposure at Ravens game

State health officials are warning fans who were at Friday's Ravens game of a possible exposure to rabies via a bat.

A bat landed on a person sitting in section 500 of M&T; Bank Stadium as the Ravens played the Detroit Lions in a preseason game, officials said. It isn't known whether the bat had rabies because the person brushed it off and the bat flew away. But health officials said it's possible other people seated in the area could have touched the bat.

But health officials are cautioning those who may have touched the bat during the game to contact their local health department. Bats can sometimes carry the rabies virus, which can be transmitted through saliva, usually in the case of a bite.

More than 200 animals have been diagnosed with rabies so far this year in Maryland, including 40 bats and one deer, health officials said.

Humans exposed to rabies require a four-dose series of vaccines administered over two weeks as well as a dose of rabies immunoglobulin, a type of antibody. To avoid rabies exposure, health officials encourage staying away from wild animals, particularly those showing unusual behavior.

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