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Bat On Delta Flight 5121 Possibly Had Rabies, Center For Disease Control Says

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Where is Samuel L. Jackson when you need him?

One week after a bat was discovered flying through an airplane cabin, health officials are trying to track down the 50 passengers believed to be at risk of rabies infection, the Associate Press reports.

The bat was captured on camera wandering around Delta flight 5121, which departed from Madison, Wisconsin to Atlanta, Georgia at 6:45 a.m. on Friday, August 5th. News.com.au reports that "shocked passengers ducked and dived" as the bat swooped close to their heads.

Some have suggested the animal may have just been a bird, and Delta officials and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention aren't certain the bat had rabies. If it was rabid, passengers could have been inflicted with the disease from a bite or contact with the animal's saliva.

CDC officials have asked that anyone who was on the flight call 1-866-613-2683.

Although just two to three people die every year from rabies, according to the Associated Press, if anyone on the plane was infected, it could take over two months for them to become sick:

The early symptoms are unremarkable – fever, headache and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more telling symptoms appear like insomnia, anxiety, confusion, paralysis, hallucinations, agitation, an increase in salivation and a fear of water.

According to the Organization for Bat Conservation, a very low percentage of bats actually have rabies.

A deadly disease has killed over one million bats in the past five years.

Earlier this week, U.S. health authorities announced the first death by a vampire bat in the United States.

The footage of the bat on a plane surfaced through CNN's iReport.

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Around the Web

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