Do Bats Give Humans Rabies?

It is not uncommon in the United States to find colonies of bats living in multi-storied buildings. These bats enter the buildings through small openings or vents that are left open. Though bats, especially in great number look dangerous, they are harmless and vulnerable creatures. They do not attack humans or any other animals, unless their life is threatened. Though they are harmless, most people don’t like bats in their house because they make disturbing noises, can come into contact with people and can spread diseases.

Facts On Rabies Being Transmitted By Bats:
One of the major concerns is that, bats can transmit rabies to humans. Though less than 1% of bats carry the rabies virus and transmit it, it is difficult to say if a colony of bats that is residing in the house has it or not. If a bat is weak, sick looking and found during the day there is a good likely hood it could be carrying rabies.

What Is Rabies?
Rabies is a disease that is caused by the virus Lyssavirus Rabies. This virus affects the immune system, mainly the nervous system very quickly. Appropriate treatment has to be given to the person bitten by bats or any animals that might carry the rabies virus.

The virus is found in the saliva of the animal and enters the blood stream of any living thing it bites. The incubation period is highly variable in animals and people. Medical council recommends that the person bit by an animal be given appropriate treatment by a professional practitioner within 12 hours from the time of the bite. In case medical treatment is not provided within 12 hours, it should be given within 48 hours.

The virus usually attaches itself to the nervous system and works its way along to the brain. Though in very few cases symptoms are seen immediately, in many instances it is not recognizable for even months. These cases usually result in death. The Rabies virus is called a Neurotropic Virus. This classification is due to the fact it replicates in the nerve tissues and then infects the brain.

Parents should teach their children to inform them immediately if a bat or any animal for that matter has been found in the house or if they have been bitten. A bat bite is generally very small and conspicuously similar to an insect bit and it should not be ignored at any cost.

Symptoms An Animal Or Person With Rabies Will Exhibit:
- Very odd and different than usual behavior
- Drooling
- Pain in the muscles
- Pain in the tendons
- Spasms in the muscles
- Difficulty speaking
- Hallucination
- Convulsions

Even if none of these symptoms are seen within a few hours of the bite it is better to get treated by a doctor. This is due to the wide range of incubation periods involved with rabies. In the case it isn’t treated quickly enough death can occur.

What Is Rabies Treatment?
Before taking the person bitten by the bat to the doctor, it is always advisable to wash the place bitten with running water to remove any saliva or virus on the raw wound. If the bite was by a single bat and it could be captured (safely by an adult only), it should be taken to test for rabies.

The treatment usually begins with anti-rabies shots which will be given immediately. Over a period of 14 days, five shots will be given. The initial two are given on the first day. The shots are usually given in a specific manner, one close by the place of the bite and the second one in the arm. The final three are also given in the arms over the next 14 days. These shots are loaded with drugs that enhance the body’s creation of antibodies that will attract the virus and bind it to itself rather than letting it enter the nervous cells. The shots have human immune globulin which interferes with the life cycle of the virus. The virus replicates by entering the cells and taking control over the cell’s system. Then it develops ‘Negri bodies’ that produce new viruses, therefore effectively stopping the spread of the disease.

Read about what to do if you are bitten by a bat. You might also want to read How to Kill a Bat and What are some of the symptoms of a sick bat?. HELP: If you need professional help in solving your bat problem, please click on my Hiring Advice and 2018 Directory of Bat Removal Professionals serving every city in the USA.

Read about Do bats drink water? Go back to my main bats in the attic home page.

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