I would like to interrupt your daily viewing schedule to make an important medical announcement: If you went to the Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions preseason game on August 17, there is a chance that you may have been exposed to rabies.
Apparently, overpriced food and a rowdy crowd weren't the only things putting a damper on the evening's festivities, there was also a bat that landed on a spectator in section 500 of M&T Bank Stadium during the game and was brushed away. This bat was not able to be secured and fled the scene, but not before possibly infecting a number of people in that section of the stadium.
In a statement released by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, they credit the importance of bats but also their dangers: "The Bats are an important part of our environment; however, they can sometimes be infected with rabies. Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that can be transmitted by infectious saliva, usually through a bite."
Anyone who was in the 500 section and made contact with the bat is being strongly urged to call their local health department. Below is an artistic rendering of what the assailant may have looked like.
"People should take special precautions if their pet encounters a wild animal," Kim Mitchell, DHMH Chief of Rabies and Vector-borne Diseases told FOX D.C. "Anyone who has had contact with a pet or a wild animal that they suspect might have rabies should consult with their health care provider as soon as possible. Rabies is a very serious disease that can be prevented with prompt medical assessment and timely vaccination following exposure."
The Lions won the game 27-12. There are no immediate plans to implement any 'good luck' bat strikes in future Detroit games.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled viewing pleasures.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty Images