A 6 year old child died from contact with a rabid bat. According to the news, the boy was awake and put his hand on the bat. He wasn’t taken to the hospital for prophylactic rabies shots. Ultimately, that decision seemed to have cost the child his life. Learn more at 6-year Old dies of rabies. The key here is that bat bites are serious. While a person should certainly know if he/she was bitten while they were awake, frequently bat bites occur when the person is sleeping or under the influence. Parents and caregivers should be particularly concerned about children or the mentally disabled as they may lack the awareness or ability to know or express that they have had contact with a bat.
Take the presence of a bat inside the living space seriously. Capture the bat safely and without harming its brain. Then contact your local health department and have them discuss with you whether rabies testing of the bat and/or whether any family members or pets need to obtain rabies prophylaxis treatment.