LATTA, SC (WBTW) – A bat may have exposed four people in Latta to rabies, DHEC announced in a press release Monday.

The bat, found in a bedroom, tested positive for rabies on March 21. A pet dog may have also been exposed, DHEC said.

“Rabid bats have been known to transmit the rabies virus to humans and pets,” said David Vaughan of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services. “People – especially children – sometimes don’t realize they’ve been bitten and it is very easy to overlook a bat bite because bat teeth are so tiny.”

The four people were referred to health care provides for post-exposure treatment. The dog was current on its rabies vaccination.

The bat is the first animal in Dillon County to test positive for rabies in 2018. There have been 11 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide this year. In 2017, none of the 63 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Dillon County.