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Bat infestation closes hospital

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ROCKINGHAM, NC (AP) -- A Rockingham hospital has temporarily closed its doors until a colony of bats can be removed.

Officials with FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital said Saturday that no new patients would be accepted and existing patients had been moved out for the time being. The hospital has been working with a professional bat removal service to expel the bats, which have been living in the walls.

Hospital employees called county officials about the problem on Friday, and teams inspected air handling units, patient rooms, common areas and ceiling tiles, among other areas.

Richmond County health inspectors say there is no evidence of bat droppings inside the hospital, and there should be no lingering risks to patients or employees.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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