A New Hampshire man is lucky to be in good health after an unexpected visitor crawled out of his iPad case.
Last Thursday, Roy Syvertson sat down in his living room to use his electronic device like usual, when he discovered a bat nested between the cover and back of his iPad, WMUR 9 reported.
After getting bit and removing the bat from his home, Syvertson, 86, learned that the creature had rabies. He is now sharing the story in hopes of educating others about the dangers of coming in contact with rabid animals.
“It was a good thing I didn’t decide to cuddle him a little,” he quipped to the outlet.
On that day, Syvertson said nothing seemed out of the ordinary until an hour later, when he went to close his iPad.
“I always do the same thing: I just open it up like that and flip it around, and then usually put it in between my legs,” the South Hampton native told the outlet, adding that he knew something was wrong when he felt something on his finger.
“It felt like a little bee sting,” he said of the sensation. “And I looked, and the bat was coming out of here.”
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In an effort to keep the bat from flying around his home, Syvertson said he quickly pressed down on the cover, wedging the creature tightly between his iPad, and released it outdoors.
“I got up, still squeezing it — which I’m sure he wasn’t happy about — and I took him outside,” he recalled to the outlet.
The next morning, Syvertson went to check on the bat and noticed that it was still lying where he left it the night before but assumed it was okay.
A few hours later, the bat had perished, which is when Syvertson began to worry. “Then I knew I might have a problem,” he admitted to WMUR 9.
Syvertson then contacted the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game about a potential case of rabies, to which he was advised by a conservation officer to go to the hospital.
“He said, ‘I would like you to go to the hospital right away. Waste no time,’” Syvertson recalled to the outlet.
While he was undergoing rabies treatment, Syvertson said the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game determined that the bat was, in fact, rabid.
As he looks back on the experience, Syvertson is still unsure of how the creature made its way into his home — but he has an idea of one particular thing he’ll be changing to prevent a future “break-in.”
“It will remain a mystery, and my joke of, ‘He probably knew my password’ won’t last forever,” Syvertson quipped. “That won’t be funny for a long time.”
Rabies, a deadly virus spread to humans by infected animal saliva, impacts 5 billion people annually and claims as many as 70,000 human lives worldwide each year, according to Kansas State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
Those who believe they have been exposed to rabies should wash their wound aggressively for several minutes with soap and water, report the incident, and then seek medical advice immediately.