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Search for kids who touched rabid bat goes worldwide

Time to start preventative vaccine is running out for three boys who visited Fort Myers Beach

June 27, 2009
By DREW WINCHESTER, dwinchester@breezenewspapers.com
The Lee County Health Department has recruited the Centers For Disease Control to help locate three boys rumored to have been playing with a rabid bat on the Fort Myers Beach pier last week. LCHD Spokeswoman Jennifer James-Mesloh said using the CDC’s media resources will move the search to an international level. James-Mesloh almost immediately received a response from the Canadian news wire service, which is comparable to the Associated Press here in the states. “They put the story on the second page of the Toronto Globe and Mail ... and as we know, we get plenty of canadian visitors here in Southwest Florida,” she added. The most frustrating aspect of the search thus far for the LCHD has been the lack of local response. James-Mesloh said the Health Department has not received a single call from the public. She added the fact that the incident occurred in the middle of the day, in such a highly populated spot as the pier on Fort Myers Beach, there has to be someone out there who has additional information. “Its frustrating we have so little information to go on,” she added. “We kept hoping someone was going to come forward and offer us some information.” While there is some time left for the three boys to receive vaccinations, time is running out. Though it’s recommended those who come into contact with rabies has a 10-day window to receive vaccinations to ensure a full recovery, every person’s body reacts differently. “It’s not going to happen to those who get the vaccination within the 10-day window,” James-Mesloh added. “But it’s one of those things where each person’s body reacts differently.” The three boys were reportedly seen on Monday, June 15, at approximately 4 p.m. on the Fort Myers Beach pier. Witnesses say the three boys, out of a total of five, were seen kissing, holding, and playing with the bat. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Lee County Health Department at 332-9501. The number is operational 24 hours a day.
 
 

 

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