Omaha Zoo Visit Leads To Rabies Shots for Iowa Girl Scouts
A camping weekend with an overnight stay at the Henry Doorly Zoo aquarium complex in Omaha over the Fourth of July led to a somewhat scary outcome for a group of Cedar Rapids girl scouts and their parents: a dangerous disease, and not the one that's been plastered across the news for the past year-and-a-half. These girls don't need COVID-19 vaccines, they need rabies shots.
They were, according to Radio Iowa, among about 186 people attending activities and events that weekend at Henry Doorly, where zoo officials later discovered seen wild bats in their aquarium, one testing positive for rabies. Linn County Public Health learned of the discovery and immediately contacted the local girl scouts and families in attendance to get rabies shots.
KCRG talked to one family, Mandy Bitterman and her daughter Lily, who were told their rabies exposure could either be no big deal, or a very big deal, so the safest idea was to get the shots. Mandy will get seven and Lily four. A doctor at St. Luke's said the fatality rate from rabies in humans is very high so get the necessary shots if you think you have been exposed.
10-year-old Lily says despite the close encounter with a potentially deadly disease, she still enjoyed the experience and is excited to return to Henry Doorly Zoo. The zoo is covering the expense of everyone needing the shots during their visit, including the Cedar Rapids girl scouts who will all get them at Unity Point-St. Luke's in Cedar Rapids, and will also refund all the exposed guests their money back.