Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bats and rabies

A sick bat found in a cabin at the Flathead Methodist Camp near Rollins led state health officials to tell the parents of 96 girls who stayed in that cabin this summer they should consider giving their children rabies shots.
Public health officials are so wishy-washy.

"Official" recommendations are that anyone who can't be absolutely sure they were not bitten get prophylaxis. From the CDC website:
because bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen, there are situations in which you should seek medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound. For example, if you awaken and find a bat in your room, see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or see a bat near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, seek medical advice and have the bat tested.
Of course given that rabies is almost uniformly fatal (but see here) it seems prudent to be careful.


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