Several students bitten by bats inside resident halls of Ohio college

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 11:22 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO/Gray News) – Nearly a dozen students at the College of Wooster in Ohio have come into contact with bats inside the resident halls since the start of the semester, according to school officials.

Some students have been bitten by the bats, WOIO reports.

“I guess I didn’t think it would get this serious,” said freshman Mave Switalla, who lives in one of the dorms where bats have been found.

She is shocked the school hasn’t done more about the issue.

“I just am kind of frustrated that like the institution that has a lot of money isn’t doing more for its students that are paying for it,” Switalla said.

Senior student Alyssa Hunt said bats have been an ongoing problem at the college.

“These problems are not normal. They are out of control,” Hunt said.

All of the students who were bitten by bats are being monitored by the Wayne County Health Department for possible rabies infections.

Meanwhile, both Switalla and Hunt hope more will be done about the bats sooner than later.

“They have volunteers making bat boxes, sometimes it’s been students, but it’s not fun,” Hunt said.

The College of Wooster released the following statement in light of the events:

Over the course of the last few weeks we have received reports of bats within some of our older residential spaces and approximately 11 instances of students coming into contact with bats, either brushing up against them or experiencing bites. Bats tested in Wayne County have a less than 1 percent chance of carrying rabies and none of the bats tested from our spaces were found to be carrying rabies. Despite this, we are working with our local hospital and Health Department to ensure students who were in the vicinity of a bat have access to prophylaxis treatment.”

Facilities staff also are proactively monitoring exterior windows and screens of residential spaces regularly and replacing any screens that are damaged and sealing any entry points. And while the College is focused on addressing the immediate issues at hand during this time of high bat prevalence, we have a long-standing nuisance wildlife program that includes Ohio DNR trained professionals on staff, 25 on-campus bat houses meant to attract bats there instead of our buildings, a regular practice of identifying and sealing building envelopes, and this summer we covered chimneys in all campus buildings.