Rabies and treatment: a personal story

The following story was shared by Mike Merchant, in his blog, Insects in the City. Although the ten pieces of advice near the end are geared for pest management professionals, some of them may be useful to anyone in the general public or who is a profession that requires handling mammals.

Last August I was out for an early morning run when a stray dog rushed me from an alleyway and knocked me down.  In light of other dog attacks in Dallas last summer, at least one of which was fatal, I feared the worst as the dog clamped onto my ankle.  But as soon as I recovered my wits enough to defend myself, the dog was off.  The whole incident probably took no more than five seconds. Continue reading

What to do if you find a bat in your house

A recent report on National Public Radio underscores the importance of seeking medical attention if you find a bat in your house, particularly in the room with you.

Last August, an elderly woman in Wyoming woke to find a bat on her neck. She and her husband searched for a bite, and finding none, decided not to seek medical attention. Over a month later, she died of rabies. Continue reading

Smoky Mountain National Park closes hiking area to protect bats

From the Asheville Citizen-Times

A devastating decline in the Smokies bat population is forcing the closure of a popular hiking area to help protect bats and humans, park managers say.

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Bats plague Louisiana High School

From WWLTV.com

Furry, winged creatures about 4 inches in length with a love of mosquito dinner have found a home and a bathroom at Dutchtown High School.
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Rabies awareness

We don’t typically think of bats and cats as “pests,” but they are two carriers of rabies, a disease that can be fatal if not treated immediately. The following text is from three news articles concerning rabies in the past year. Animals most likely to carry rabies are raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs and cats. The disease is fatal once it reaches the brain, so quick treatment is imperative. In addition, pets who have not been vaccinated against rabies, or whose vaccination is out of date, can develop rabies. There is no cure for an unvaccinated animal who is bitten by a rabid animal.

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New poster for schools warns kids about rabies in bats

Warm days mean more insects and wildlife, including some animals that can carry rabies. This poster, called “Don’t Touch a Bat,” gives a reminder that touching some wildlife can be dangerous.


For more on bats, see the Texas AgriLife web resources on bats:

Publication on bats in schools: http://agrilife.org/batsinschools/

Bat Control in Schools Publication in English and Spanish  https://agrilifebookstore.org/publications_search.cfm

Other links:

CDC Bats and Rabies URL – http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/index.html

World Rabies Day URL – http://www.worldrabiesday.org/

TX School Poster Contest – Rabies in Bats

It’s almost time for back-to-schools in several states, and in addition to learning about the 3 Rs, some children will learn about and even more serious subject: rabies. September 28, 2009, is World Rabies Day. Events are being planned throughout the world to increase rabies awareness and promote rabies prevention.

Although deaths from rabies are rare because of state laws requiring domestic pets to be protected, many children are still exposed to rabies through touching bats. Texas schools are participating in a poster contest to help make children more aware of the dangers of playing with bats. For more information on rabies or the contest, go to http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/.