RABIES is a rare but serious infection of the brain and nerves, and is often caught from a bite or scratch by an infected animal. Here’s the lowdown on this deadly illness. What is rabies? Rabies is a serious infection of the brain and nervous system. It is caught when a human is bitten or scratched by an infected animal – often a dog. The infection is rife worldwide, predominantly found in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. In the UK, it is not found anywhere except in a small number of wild bats. Once symptoms develop, the illness is almost always fatal. However, treatment before symptoms develop can be effective. There are vaccines available for those who are considered at risk of contracting it. How do you catch rabies? All mammals (including monkeys) can carry rabies, but it's most common in: dogs bats raccoons foxes jackals cats mongooses They can spread the infection if they bite or scratch you. In rare cases, you can also catch it an infected animal … [Read more...] about What are the first symptoms of rabies in humans? Can you be vaccinated, how is it caught and what is the treatment?
How do bats get rabies
Public Health Insider has reported on multiple incidents of human/bat interactions this summer – a bat in a park bathroom, a bat at an equestrian center and a bat near Husky Stadium. Statewide, bat-human encounters broke a record this spring. So what are the essential 5 things to know about bats? Read on: 1. Anyone who touches or has contact with a bat is at risk of getting rabies. In Washington state, the bat is the only known source of rabies. Call Public Health at 206-296-4774 or seek medical evaluation immediately if you could have been touched by a bat. 2. If you wake up in a room or a tent and there is a bat in it, DO NOT LET THE BAT GO. Bats have very small teeth, so it’s possible to have been bitten and not know it. Treatment to prevent rabies may be needed if a bat is found in a room with anyone who is: Sleeping An unattended child Mentally or physically challenged, or Intoxicated Capture the bat in a box and call Public Health to get the bat tested for … [Read more...] about 5 things to know about bats and rabies
Why is rabies so scary? Because the virus is 100 percent fatal for people and animals who do not get timely medical attention. A couple of people in the United States die each year from a rabies infection, usually because they’ve been bitten or scratched by an animal and didn’t seek medical attention soon enough. What animals in Idaho carry the rabies virus? In Idaho, the main carrier animal is the bat, but rabies also has been found in other wild and domestic animals. In other states, raccoons, skunks, and foxes are also natural carriers of the virus. All animals that are mammals should be considered potentially rabid if they bite, scratch, or expose people to their saliva. How common is it in Idaho? We average about 16 rabid bat reports a year in our state. Last year, we had 15, and they were pretty well scattered across the state. Even though most bats don’t carry the disease, you can’t always tell if they are sick, so you should always avoid them if you … [Read more...] about Rabies in Idaho: Handle bats with care (and very thick gloves)!
We recently shared information about an investigation into rabies exposure from a rabid bat on the University of Washington campus. We’ve already seen nearly twice as many exposures to bats this year compared to this time last year, and as the weather gets warmer, we are more likely to see more. Bats are an important part of our ecosystem, but it’s very important to leave them alone. Specifically: Keep bats outside. This is the best case scenario for you and for the bat. To keep bats out, make sure all open doors and windows have screens that will prevent the bat from flying inside your home and seal up all possible points of entry. If you find a bat in your home, notify Public Health. If you find a bat in your home, immediately close doors to the room to contain it, if possible, and try to maintain awareness of its location. Call Public Health at 206-296-4774 so that we can determine whether it needs to be safely captured and tested for rabies infection or released … [Read more...] about What to do when you encounter a bat
Bats have an unfortunate reputation. A small, unscientific survey of our staff said they associate bats with “vampires,” “Mitzvah,” “Michael Keaton,” and “Nelson Cruz.” Clearly, we needed to learn more. So we sat down with our in-house expert, Public Health Veterinarian Beth Lipton, who reminded us that bats aren’t all bad, but you really shouldn’t touch them. True or false: Bats are evil and suck our blood. True or false: Bats are blind. Where will I most likely encounter a bat?Your home. If a bat flies into your house, open the windows and doors to allow the bat to fly out on its own. Make sure to put your pets in another room with the doors closed. Keep common entry points to your home closed to avoid letting a bat inside. Refer to the figure for tips on entryways bats use to enter homes. What are normal or abnormal bat behaviors?Bats do not usually come into contact with people since they are active at night. If you … [Read more...] about Bats: Not so bad, but please don’t touch