Fans who attended the August 17 preseason game between the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions have been urged to contact their local health department following a potential rabies scare at M&T Bank Stadium. During the game, a bat reportedly landed on a person in the stands. The bat was not captured and therefore can not be tested for rabies.
Bats commonly carry rabies and officials said in a press release that rabies can change animal behavior, making typically friendly, domesticated animals more aggressive and wild animals more friendly. Since bats are usually afraid of people, it is somewhat alarming that one may have landed on a fan. The Maryland health department urges people to avoid touching any bat that should enter their home and to try to capture it and not let it go until animal control has tested it, unless you are sure no animal or person in your household came into contact with the bat.
We have seen several incidences of animals in sports over the years like a this furry creature delaying a baseball game or a golfer getting attacked by a reptile, but possible exposure to rabies has to be among the strangest occurrences. Hopefully no fans who attended the game were affected.