DHEC Continues Investigation of Bat Sightings at Orangeburg's Regional Medical Center

3:53 PM, Feb 17, 2014   |    comments
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Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) -- The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control is encouraging patients who stayed overnight east wing of the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, to contact them about possible exposure to bats.

Health officials want to talk to patients who stayed there between January 1 and February 16.

Jane Carson, the hospital's public relations director, told News19 earlier this month the bat sightings were likely due to construction on the hospital's roof.

Previous Coverage - Bats Found in Midlands Hospital

DHEC says as of Monday there are no reports of bites from bats at the hospital. DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in the process of notifying more than 800 patients and 300 hospital staff that they should contact health officials to asses their potential risk for rabies exposure. 

Patients who stayed at the hospital should call DHEC at 1-800-868-0404. DHEC will provide referrals if a medical evaluation is needed.

The Regional Medical Center also has a hotline for patients/employees who have questions. That number is (803) 395-3837.

RMC has established a clinic at the hospital for those who may need evaluation or preventative rabies treatment.

"Our priority is to ensure that patients who received care at RMC are safe." said Marilyn Tremblay, chief information officer for the Regional Medical Center said in a news release. "We are committed to working with DHEC and CDC to resolve this situation and prevent such events from happening in the future. RMC will offer medical evaluation and preventive rabies treatment regardless of a patient's ability to pay for services."

For more information on bats and rabies exposure, visit the CDC website. (http://1.usa.gov/1cRR43I)

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