Hospital evacuated due to bats

Feb. 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

ROCKINGHAM, N.C., Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A North Carolina hospital says it has temporarily evacuated patients while it clears out a bat infestation.

Administrators at Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham, N.C., said they evacuated patients during the weekend, about five weeks after the first reports of bats in patient rooms, and closed down all of the building's facilities except for the emergency room, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., reported Tuesday.

"We've actually sent staff out to retrieve some of the bats to our state lab for testing of rabies," Richmond County health director Tommy Jarrell said.

Jarrell said patients have been vaccinated and thus far no bats have tested positive for rabies.

"This is the first time we've had to deal with this type of issue," Jarrell said.

A bat removal company, Get Bats Out, has been hired to take care of the problem.

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