^V^ Just a caver
Post by L Roebuck on Jul 27, 2006 13:22:12 GMT -5
Rabies shot necessary after bat encounter
By Carla McClain
Arizona Daily Star
Several Tucsonans who have found bats inside their homes have undergone a series of rabies shots -- even though no bites from the bats have been reported.
In all cases -- involving six Tucson-area homes this summer -- authorities said the bats either were caught and released or left the homes on their own, so were not tested for possible rabies infection.
These incidents have prompted a warning from health officials to report all bat encounters inside the home, to be advised if rabies vaccination is necessary.
"Because bat bites are difficult to detect, and once contracted rabies is fatal, it's extremely important that people call either the Pima County Health Department or the Pima Animal Care Center when there is contact with a bat, regardless of how inconsequential it may seem," said Babs Johnson, county epidemiologist.
Of the 35 fatal human rabies cases reported in the United States since 1990, 26 were infected by bats -- but only two bites were reported.
The teeth of some bat species are so small that actual bites may go undetected, especially if they occur while the victim is asleep. Any contact with bat saliva may result in infection, whether or not a bite is involved.
To report an encounter with a bat, call the health department at 740-8315 or the Animal Care Center at 743-7550.
Full Article: www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/139215.php