ATLANTA - Health officials said a bat on a flight from Wisconsin to Atlanta last week has sparked a national search for passengers to protect them against possible rabies.
Officials do not know if the bat had rabies because it escaped. But they want to alert passengers of the risk just in case. The Centers for Disease Control said it is trying to reach all 50 people who flew on Delta Flight 5121, which departed from Madison, Wis., to Atlanta at 6:45 a.m. Aug. 5.
If the animal was rabid, people could catch rabies from a bite or exposure to saliva.
CDC officials asked anyone on the flight to call 1-866-613-2683.
The jet was in the air when the winged animal emerged and a passenger shot a video. Operators of the flight said it could have been a bird. But the CDC said its rabies expert believes from the video that it was a bat.