New Hampshire man bitten by rabid bat hiding in his iPad cover

An elderly man received a rather unpleasant surprise when he sat down to read his iPad last week.

Last Thursday, 86-year-old Roy Syvertson sat down to scroll through the internet on his device, opening up the protective case to expose the screen. Everything was fine until about an hour later when he went to close the cover.

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He felt a little “sting” as he pressed it shut, and he saw a bat emerging from between it and the iPad.

“It felt like a little bee sting, and I looked, and the bat was coming out of here, between the cover and the back of the pad,” said Syvertson to ABC affiliate WMUR. “And then I got up, still squeezing it, which I’m sure he wasn’t happy about, and I took him outside. When I got up in the morning, he was still there, and I thought he was all right.”

Upon closer inspection later that evening, Syvertson discovered the bat was dead, which immediately concerned him. He called the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, concerned the bat might have rabies, and officials told him to go to the hospital right away.

He began treatment shortly afterwards.

New Hampshire Fish and Game tested the animal, and the bat was indeed positive for rabies.

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“It was good thing I didn’t decide to cuddle him a little,” Syvertson joked, adding that he’s feeling fine.

It’s unclear how the bat got into Syvertson’s home, or how it managed to get under his iPad cover. He joked that the bat must’ve had the password to his device.

Of course, Canada is home to 18 bat species, so it’s beneficial to know some safety tips if this ever happens to you or a loved one. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District (HKPR) health unit offers the following tips when it comes to bats:

  • If you suspect you may have been bitten or had contact with a bat, immediately report it to a family doctor and the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.
  • If you are bitten or scratched by a bat that is discovered in your home, leave the room, close the door and contact a professional pest control or wildlife removal company. Do not touch a bat with your bare hands. If there was no human contact (bite or scratch), open a window and allow the bat to get out.
  • If you have bats living on your property and want to remove them, contact a professional pest control company or wildlife removal company.
  • If you discover a bat outdoors that is injured, acting strange or dead, do not touch it.
  • Ensure pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date.
  • Bat-proof the home. If bats are found in the home, seek advice from an animal control or wildlife conservation authority.
  • Carefully examine the home for holes that might allow bats entry into your living quarters, then take steps to seal them. For instance, caulk openings larger than a quarter inch by a half inch; ensure all doors to the outside close tightly and use window screens, chimney caps, and draft-guards beneath doors to attics.

With files from Greg Davis

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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