KARE 11 meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is undergoing a series of rabies vaccinations following an incident with a bat earlier this week, according to his Twitter account.
Sundgaard tells City Pages that he woke up with a bat on his face Sunday while at his family’s cabin near Lake Mille Lacs. After telling KARE co-workers about the incident, Sundgaard was advised that bats transmit more rabies than any other animal.
Saying he didn’t “feel a bite” from the bat, Sundgaard said he called the doctor anyway, and even got a second opinion. On the advice of the doctors, he decided to err on the side of caution and get the injections.
He then thanked his co-workers over Twitter.
— Sven Sundgaard (@svensundgaard) August 20, 2013
Rabies is nearly 100 percent fatal in humans if not detected before symptoms occur. Rabies in the bat could have been confirmed if Sundgaard captured the creature for examination, but instead he said he let it out of the cabin.
The meteorologist says he got four big injections to start on Tuesday afternoon, which were so painful that he had to ride home from the doctor while laying on his stomach in a co-worker’s car (see tweet photos above). He was expected to undergo more shots this week and next Tuesday. The final round of shots will be the Tuesday after that.
Sundgaard tells City Pages that the four installments of shots will set him back about $2,000 out of the $3,500 cost because of his high insurance deductible.
Bats aren’t the only animals responsible for rabies cases in Minnesota. Last month in Little Falls a rabid skunk bit a 5-month-old baby boy in the face, and in October, a rabid raccoon bit a 3-year-old girl in Austin.