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Elfe
Jul. 24, 2010, 03:46 PM
Woke up in the middle of the night to a strange noise above my bed. Turned the lights on..... a bat was flying around above me. The room has high ceilings but all windows were closed and door is always closed. I quickly opened a window, closed the door and exited. Slept in another room.
What now ? How do I find the critter and get rid of it ? Do I have to remove all drapes, etc. to locate it ?
I am really creep-ed out !
Thanks for any advice you might have !

cssutton
Jul. 24, 2010, 04:26 PM
Woke up in the middle of the night to a strange noise above my bed. Turned the lights on..... a bat was flying around above me. The room has high ceilings but all windows were closed and door is always closed. I quickly opened a window, closed the door and exited. Slept in another room.
What now ? How do I find the critter and get rid of it ? Do I have to remove all drapes, etc. to locate it ?
I am really creep-ed out !
Thanks for any advice you might have !

So far, you have done everything wrong.

You should not have opened the window.

You should have left the room, the only thing you did right.

You should have called animal control to catch the bat and test it for rabies.

Unless you find the bat and test him, you MUST take the rabies shots because bat teeth are so small and so sharp that you can't tell that you have been bitten.

Every authoritative paper you can find on this subject will tell you that if you wake with a bat in the room, you must take the shots unless you can catch and test the bat and it is negative.

Because you opened the window, even if you find a bat in the house you can not be certain it is the same one.

You have a problem. Get with it.

CSSJR

citydog
Jul. 24, 2010, 04:32 PM
What he said, unfortunately.

If you were awake the whole time, you'd have been fine (bats want to get out of the house, so open the windows, shut the doors and leave them to it), but because you were asleep, you do need to have rabies post-exposure treatment.

http://www.batconservation.org/content/Batproblems.html

Tom King
Jul. 24, 2010, 06:07 PM
Do you have a vented gas fired heater in the house? We have a Vermont Castings and after a bat got in our house, I traced the entry point to coming down the chimney and out through the completely open part on the "stove" where the vent pipe goes out. I fabricated a cover out of hardware cloth.

Calvincrowe
Jul. 24, 2010, 06:10 PM
Well, I've woken to bats in my room twice and lived to tell the tale. I'm sure Sutton is right..but I've always just opened the window wider and gently shooed the little feller out. Once, Mr. CC just tossed a towel over it, and put on leather gloves and took it outside.

I guess I live dangerously.

For the OP, just go into the room with a flashlight and the lights on and look EVERYWHERE for the bat. Every nook and cranny. Hopefully, no closet was open, or has a widish crack. Yes, shake your drapes etc. Good luck, they are scary little guys, even if they are super beneficial.

We have a low incidence of rabies here in the PNW, so maybe I've always felt pretty blase' about them.

Nezzy
Jul. 24, 2010, 06:53 PM
I was a bat rehabber. You did the correct thing by opening the window. By darkening the room, hopefully the bat got out on it's own. you can put gloves on and use a broom to gently open the curtains. they will perch as high as they can if still in the room. I have been bitten by many bats and it hurts like heck, there is no way anyone could NOT feel it. I had been vaccinated for the rabies virus at the time, and have only encountered one rabid bat in the 4 yrs i worked with them. Less than 1% of all bats have rabies. That said, you should read up on CDC protocol and do what you think is best.

cssutton
Jul. 24, 2010, 07:36 PM
I was a bat rehabber. You did the correct thing by opening the window. By darkening the room, hopefully the bat got out on it's own. you can put gloves on and use a broom to gently open the curtains. they will perch as high as they can if still in the room. I have been bitten by many bats and it hurts like heck, there is no way anyone could NOT feel it. I had been vaccinated for the rabies virus at the time, and have only encountered one rabid bat in the 4 yrs i worked with them. Less than 1% of all bats have rabies. That said, you should read up on CDC protocol and do what you think is best.

I like bats as well and have several houses, only one of which is in use.

However, when one talks about "only" 1%.....

That is one in 100.

So if 1 in 100 of suffering a horrible death is OK with you.....

Pretty poor odds.

CSSJR

cssutton
Jul. 24, 2010, 07:40 PM
I was a bat rehabber. You did the correct thing by opening the window. By darkening the room, hopefully the bat got out on it's own. you can put gloves on and use a broom to gently open the curtains. they will perch as high as they can if still in the room. I have been bitten by many bats and it hurts like heck, there is no way anyone could NOT feel it. I had been vaccinated for the rabies virus at the time, and have only encountered one rabid bat in the 4 yrs i worked with them. Less than 1% of all bats have rabies. That said, you should read up on CDC protocol and do what you think is best.

I have never been bitten by a bat but I have read of person's getting bit while asleep and not realizing they had been.

Until just before they died.

CSSJR

JSwan
Jul. 24, 2010, 07:42 PM
Turned the lights on..... a bat was flying around above me.

OMG, how did my mother in law get in your house? :eek:

Elfe
Jul. 24, 2010, 08:11 PM
The noise of the creature coming into the room or out of its hiding place is what woke me up, I thought it was a bird on the roof or a mouse. So when it started flying around I was already awake. I am sure it did not bite me, I was well under the covers and it never came close enough.
After I left the room, the window was open all night.
Checked the room in day light, took all drapes off, could find no trace of it. It's a log house, the wood expands and contracts, it's hot and dry right now, I am sure it could find access somewhere.
I am giving the room a thorough cleaning, won't sleep there for a few days, just to be sure.
Re: animal control. I don't think they would come out in the middle of the night for a bat, if at all. I don't even know if there is animal control in my area.
Thanks for all the advice, will have to work on sealing the house.

Elfe
Jul. 24, 2010, 08:14 PM
OMG, how did my mother in law get in your house? :eek:

Wow, she must be quite a traveler..... from Virginia to Washington State !!!!!!!!
Just to scare the $hit out of me ?????!!!!!!

DownYonder
Jul. 24, 2010, 08:23 PM
Turn your AC down as far as it will go for at least 4 hours. Then use infrared goggles to locate Count Dracula. Then maybe try using a broom to encourage him to exit via the open window.

Elfe
Jul. 24, 2010, 08:33 PM
Turn your AC down as far as it will go for at least 4 hours. Then use infrared goggles to locate Count Dracula. Then maybe try using a broom to encourage him to exit via the open window.

No air conditioning here !
I don't have infrared anything, maybe I should see if Radio Shack carries those ?
Thanks.

lcw579
Jul. 24, 2010, 09:07 PM
OMG, how did my mother in law get in your house? :eek:

:lol::lol::lol:


My sister lived in a house where bats got into her bedroom all the time. She even woke up when one fell out of the sky on her. :eek:

They sold the house. :yes:;)

AKB
Jul. 24, 2010, 11:15 PM
You need to seriously consider rabies vaccine and immune globulin. A lot of the mystery cases of rabies are bat rabies. CDC has a recommendation that anyone who was asleep in a room with a bat needs the vaccine and immune globulin.

Talk with the Health Department and an infectious disease MD. The rabies vaccine is not cheap, but is not usually a big deal. The immune globulin injections are unpleasant, but you only get them once. Do some reading such as: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/220967-overview and the CDC website.

We had a family come in to our clinic last year. They had just lost a family member to rabies from an unrecognized exposure. It was really sad.

You may find that you feel a great sense of relief once you have had the vaccine. Now that I've had vaccine, when I unexpectedly encounter foxes or stray dogs, or have bats fly millimeters above my head, I no longer cringe. We went to help out at a spay neuter clinic in Mexico this year. I was so happy that I didn't have to think about rabies, as many of the dogs brought to the clinic had not had vaccine.

anchodavis
Jul. 25, 2010, 08:26 AM
JSwan, LMAO!
I've rescued many bats by just picking them up with a towel when they get tired. Yeah, I reckon I should've gotten shots, but never did. It's probably the safe route but I'm not inclined to be paranoid about such things. Keep in mind the public health messages about anything like this tend to be absolutist rather than a true/realistic risk assessment. Occult exposures are actually extraordinarily rare, and the poor little feller probably nearly had a heart attack when you woke up and left the room.

Laurierace
Jul. 25, 2010, 08:41 AM
I didn't even read this thread yesterday but saw the thread title before I went to bed. Apparently that was all it took because there were six bats flying around my bedroom and one of them bit me twice so I had to kill it. I squished it with my fingers while it was wrapped in a bedsheet. Then I woke up! No more bat threads!

SmokenMirrors
Jul. 25, 2010, 10:52 AM
Unfortunately, after talking to a bat rehabilitation lady in our area, already this thread shows a lot of misinformation. Unless the bat bites you, there is no real cause to be alarmed and think oh my gosh, rabies. Rabies is transmitted via the saliva of an infected animal, so if you were to catch the bat in a soft towel, your okay.

And also, when a bat gets rabies, they don't go after you or froth at the mouth, they go someplace dark, quiet and die. It is usually when they are in the dying process that we find them, hence why were told not to touch them.

Good luck finding out where they are coming in. Glad to hear you didn't kill it or go on a rampage against it.

cssutton
Jul. 25, 2010, 11:10 AM
Unfortunately, after talking to a bat rehabilitation lady in our area, already this thread shows a lot of misinformation. Unless the bat bites you, there is no real cause to be alarmed and think oh my gosh, rabies. Rabies is transmitted via the saliva of an infected animal, so if you were to catch the bat in a soft towel, your okay.

And also, when a bat gets rabies, they don't go after you or froth at the mouth, they go someplace dark, quiet and die. It is usually when they are in the dying process that we find them, hence why were told not to touch them.

Good luck finding out where they are coming in. Glad to hear you didn't kill it or go on a rampage against it.

So a "bat rehabilitator" is the last word expert?

What is this person's credentials?

Perhaps both you and your expert bat person should read this:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020506074445.htm

CSSJR

mjmvet
Jul. 25, 2010, 04:09 PM
Actually, CSSJR is correct. Most cases of human rabies are from the bat strain. Most who became infected had NO recollection of any bat exposure. Yes, it IS possible to be bitten and not know it. If this happened while you were sleeping, and you do not receive post exposure shots, you will die of rabies. Are the chances great? No. Are you willing to bet your life on it? I would not be.

The injections are usually covered under your insurance. You will likely need to provide your doctor or local ER with the information from the CDC showing that having a bat in your room while you were sleeping IS a possible exposure, and that shots must be given to you. Please don't take this lightly - I don't want to read on COTH someday that 'Person dies of rabies, blah, blah, blah'. =)

There are bat removal services out there if you find you can't do it on your own. The local ACO may be able to help you - if the bat can be caught, it can be tested for rabies, and you may avoid needing to get shots. If it can't be caught, you'll need the post-exposure series.

Nezzy
Jul. 25, 2010, 04:18 PM
I like bats as well and have several houses, only one of which is in use.

However, when one talks about "only" 1%.....

That is one in 100.

So if 1 in 100 of suffering a horrible death is OK with you.....

Pretty poor odds.

CSSJR
if you re-read i said LESS than 1%.

http://www.batconservation.org/content/Batsandrabies.html

http://www.batworld.org/myths_facts/myths_facts.html

Nezzy
Jul. 25, 2010, 04:28 PM
Unfortunately, after talking to a bat rehabilitation lady in our area, already this thread shows a lot of misinformation. Unless the bat bites you, there is no real cause to be alarmed and think oh my gosh, rabies. Rabies is transmitted via the saliva of an infected animal, so if you were to catch the bat in a soft towel, your okay.

And also, when a bat gets rabies, they don't go after you or froth at the mouth, they go someplace dark, quiet and die. It is usually when they are in the dying process that we find them, hence why were told not to touch them.

Good luck finding out where they are coming in. Glad to hear you didn't kill it or go on a rampage against it.

Thanks you. Agreed. Bat rehabbers know a lot more than most people about bats, including the local animal control. We handle bats daily, we know how intelligent they are( they are ranked up there with Dolphins) and we know how people love to try to handle sick bats wihtout gloves, but then later say they have no idea how the bat must have bit them. Bats that are flying around are usually healthy. Rabid bats are usually on the ground crawled up somewhere they can die without being bothered. They don't get frantic rabies but get DUMB rabies so they don't get frothy and crazy, they just want to crawl off and hide. Old Wives tales do nothing to help the public learn. But even today people still spout off silly things their grandparents told them.

Alagirl
Jul. 25, 2010, 05:52 PM
The point is/should be that usually there is a 'acting out of character' warning sign.
A bat flying around at night is certainly not such a thing. Seeing it flopping around at 10 in the morning is (found one like that, test positive)

I have had a number of bats getting lost in the house, usually I opened the front door and left the light on. It seldom took more than a few minutes for the bat to exit. And no, I did not exit in a panic I made sure the critter left.

Bats can get through tiny cracks, so go through the room and check, attic access etc...

Nezzy
Jul. 25, 2010, 07:17 PM
The point is/should be that usually there is a 'acting out of character' warning sign.
A bat flying around at night is certainly not such a thing. Seeing it flopping around at 10 in the morning is (found one like that, test positive)

I have had a number of bats getting lost in the house, usually I opened the front door and left the light on. It seldom took more than a few minutes for the bat to exit. And no, I did not exit in a panic I made sure the critter left.

Bats can get through tiny cracks, so go through the room and check, attic access etc...

Bats do fly during the day- it's usually if something has disturbed their roost. But they try not to, b/c they are a target of birds, like Bluejays. there can be other reasons, a Broken wing, etc.. But never handle any wildlife without THICK gloves, and it's best to call a wildlife rehabber first.

cssutton
Jul. 25, 2010, 08:29 PM
Thanks you. Agreed. Bat rehabbers know a lot more than most people about bats, including the local animal control. We handle bats daily, we know how intelligent they are( they are ranked up there with Dolphins) and we know how people love to try to handle sick bats wihtout gloves, but then later say they have no idea how the bat must have bit them. Bats that are flying around are usually healthy. Rabid bats are usually on the ground crawled up somewhere they can die without being bothered. They don't get frantic rabies but get DUMB rabies so they don't get frothy and crazy, they just want to crawl off and hide. Old Wives tales do nothing to help the public learn. But even today people still spout off silly things their grandparents told them.

This is not a question of who knows the most about bats.

It is a question of who knows the most about the transmission of rabies to humans.

To take advice on that subject from a bat rehabber is about as wise as taking riding lessons in preparation for a grand prix class from a horse rescue person.

And a smart rescuer or rehabber would refrain from giving advice on either topic.

Before you flame me for giving advice on the topic, please note that I am only repeating the advice of experts on the subject of rabies and human rabies infections.

CSSJR

SonnysMom
Jul. 25, 2010, 10:24 PM
This is not a question of who knows the most about bats.

It is a question of who knows the most about the transmission of rabies to humans.

To take advice on that subject from a bat rehabber is about as wise as taking riding lessons in preparation for a grand prix class from a horse rescue person.

And a smart rescuer or rehabber would refrain from giving advice on either topic.

Before you flame me for giving advice on the topic, please note that I am only repeating the advice of experts on the subject of rabies and human rabies infections.

CSSJR

I think you are a little off base in your example. I would think that a bat rehabber would know LOTS about how rabies is transmitted by bats. I would think they would need to know this information so they can keep safe and keep themselves from having to have the rabies shots. Even if the rehabber has had the rabies vaccine it isn't like the vaccine is 100% effective.

cssutton
Jul. 25, 2010, 10:32 PM
Did you read the link?

Perhaps you should before you post.

After you read it and look at the source, ask yourself whether a "bat lady" is more knowledgeable as to the danger of rabies.

CSSJR

deltawave
Jul. 25, 2010, 11:07 PM
A bat got in our house a few nights after my son was born. Talk about frenzied mother-instinct! :eek: I was ready to tear it limb from limb, and ever since then bats have freaked me out a little.

My husband sucked it up with a Shop-Vac. :D We called Animal Control and they took it away the next day.

They shriek horribly when threatened. *shudder*

citydog
Jul. 26, 2010, 12:17 AM
Unfortunately, after talking to a bat rehabilitation lady in our area, already this thread shows a lot of misinformation. Unless the bat bites you, there is no real cause to be alarmed and think oh my gosh, rabies.

From the link I posted upthread via http://www.batconservation.org/content/Batproblems.html:


If you have bats living in an unwanted place please follow the directions below to remove them. Also please note that the Center for Disease control qualifies a potential bat rabies exposure if:

- A bat was flying around in your house and you have children, unvaccinated pets, or were sleeping
- Finding a bat in the same room as a person who might be unaware that a bite or direct contact had occurred (e.g. a deeply sleeping person awakens to find a bat in the room or an adult witnesses a bat in the room with a previously unattended child, mentally disabled person, or intoxicated person)

If any of these situations have occurred the bat NEEDS to be tested for rabies by your local health department. Very few bats have rabies, but you need to take precautions with any wild animal.

And this directly from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/bats.html):


Postexposure prophylaxis can be considered for persons who were in the same room as a bat and who might be unaware that a bite or direct contact had occurred (e.g., a sleeping person awakens to find a bat in the room or an adult witnesses a bat in the room with a previously unattended child, mentally disabled person, or intoxicated person) and rabies cannot be ruled out by testing the bat.

There's no badge of honor to be gained from being blasé about a potential exposure to a nasty, deadly disease. Prophylaxis is nearly 100% successful, and the untreated disease is nearly 100% fatal--why mess around?

The CDC also says:

The principal rabies hosts today are wild carnivores and bats.

In the United States, human fatalities associated with rabies occur in people who fail to seek medical assistance, usually because they were unaware of their exposure.

Nezzy
Jul. 26, 2010, 09:51 AM
This is not a question of who knows the most about bats.

It is a question of who knows the most about the transmission of rabies to humans.

To take advice on that subject from a bat rehabber is about as wise as taking riding lessons in preparation for a grand prix class from a horse rescue person.

And a smart rescuer or rehabber would refrain from giving advice on either topic.

Before you flame me for giving advice on the topic, please note that I am only repeating the advice of experts on the subject of rabies and human rabies infections.

CSSJR

FYI- to be a rehabber you have to take rabies classes.

Nezzy
Jul. 26, 2010, 09:52 AM
A bat got in our house a few nights after my son was born. Talk about frenzied mother-instinct! :eek: I was ready to tear it limb from limb, and ever since then bats have freaked me out a little.

My husband sucked it up with a Shop-Vac. :D We called Animal Control and they took it away the next day.

They shriek horribly when threatened. *shudder*

OMG, that's horrible.

Grataan
Jul. 26, 2010, 10:53 AM
FYI- to be a rehabber you have to take rabies classes.

FYI, to be a veterinarian, you have to take rabies classes.

You know who knows more about rabies than bat rehabbers? Veterinarians.

OP, get thee to an MD with a printout of the CDC guidelines stat.

sisu27
Jul. 26, 2010, 12:24 PM
I had two in the house in two weeks about a month ago. Woke up because the dogs where getting excited (actually, my Dobe was skittering across hardwood floors and crashing into doorways to take cover...."help mom!!", he is such a chicken!). I did not get shots and am hopefully not dying. This thread is scaring me though. I captured and released both bats.

My big concern is where and how they are getting in. I spoke to some Bat experts and they charge $500-$5000 to "bat-proof" your home. I do not have the $$ for this right now. I wasn't feeling very confident that any of the 6 I spoke to where legit anyhow.

They can get in a space the size of a dime. Their feces and urine are hazardous. I'm pretty freaked out. The "experts" also said if I had two in two weeks I likely have hundreds living in my attic, walls, ... Yikes.

Why aren't we all encourage to just get a rabies shot preventatively?

Anyone have any luck bat-proofing their house on their own? I am thinking that perhaps the furnace chimney may be the culprit and might get it screened.

OP....I feel your pain. Yuck.

Nezzy
Jul. 26, 2010, 12:59 PM
FYI, to be a veterinarian, you have to take rabies classes.

You know who knows more about rabies than bat rehabbers? Veterinarians.

OP, get thee to an MD with a printout of the CDC guidelines stat.


Bat rehabbers know a lot more about bats than vets do. but whatever.

Nezzy
Jul. 26, 2010, 01:02 PM
I had two in the house in two weeks about a month ago. Woke up because the dogs where getting excited (actually, my Dobe was skittering across hardwood floors and crashing into doorways to take cover...."help mom!!", he is such a chicken!). I did not get shots and am hopefully not dying. This thread is scaring me though. I captured and released both bats.

My big concern is where and how they are getting in. I spoke to some Bat experts and they charge $500-$5000 to "bat-proof" your home. I do not have the $$ for this right now. I wasn't feeling very confident that any of the 6 I spoke to where legit anyhow.

They can get in a space the size of a dime. Their feces and urine are hazardous. I'm pretty freaked out. The "experts" also said if I had two in two weeks I likely have hundreds living in my attic, walls, ... Yikes.

Why aren't we all encourage to just get a rabies shot preventatively?

Anyone have any luck bat-proofing their house on their own? I am thinking that perhaps the furnace chimney may be the culprit and might get it screened.

OP....I feel your pain. Yuck.

You can learn how to do the screen yourself by going to Batcon.org. the feces and urine cannot pass rabies to you, it's thru saliva that you get rabies. Dead bats also cannot transmit rabies, and the rabies virus dies within seconds of hitting the air. You can get histoplasmosis from powdered dry feces. The general public does not need rabies vaccinations b/c there are not enough rabies deaths to warrant that.

cssutton
Jul. 26, 2010, 01:13 PM
Bat rehabbers know a lot more about bats than vets do. but whatever.

You just can't get the point.

This thread has two subjects.

One of them is about bats, how they get in, what to do to prevent it, etc.

The other subject of this thread is whether there is a danger of rabies from bats in your sleeping area.

To say that "bat ladies" know more about rabies than vets do is ludicrous.

CSSJR

Grataan
Jul. 26, 2010, 03:05 PM
Bat rehabbers know a lot more about bats than vets do. but whatever.
LOL

WHAT?

Who do you think diagnoses, treats, and endeavours to prevent rabies in anything other than the human population? Bat rehabbers? No, veterinarians.

It is a public health risk-and through keeping animals safe we keep humans safe.

We have thousands upon thousands of hours of education. How many do bat rehabbers have?

Yeah right.

Nezzy
Jul. 26, 2010, 03:37 PM
whatever- i'm done with this nonsense.

Auventera Two
Jul. 26, 2010, 03:51 PM
Wow, all the mass hysteria and panic over a bat in the house...........we've shared our house with bats over the years, unfortunately, and have never caught one and had it tested for rabies. We just open the door and shoosh them out. They liked to roost in our attic and ocassionally they manage to get in the house. Thankfully it isn't frequent, but I'd say maybe one bat per year. We have never seen any feces or damage made by the bats.

We had a bat specialist come out and they didn't bestow any hysteria and panic on us. They just found the hole where they were getting into the attic, closed it off, and said if any more errant creatures gets in, to let them out through a door or window.

After all these years, I had no idea my family was in grave danger. The things you learn on COTH.

Auventera Two
Jul. 26, 2010, 03:57 PM
or have bats fly millimeters above my head, I no longer cringe.

Why would a bat flying above your head make you cringe? :confused: I grew up in the country and have sat on the front porch many nights watching the bats catch bugs by the yard light. And even today when I go out to do a late night check of the barn, I can hear and see bats flapping about catching their bugs. It never occurred to me to be scared for my life. Weird.

And I agree with Nezzy. Everything I've ever heard about rabid bats says that they tend to sit and hide somewhere while they are sick. They aren't usually flying around acting normal. The bat specialist that came to our house said that if you find a bat that is sitting quietly somewhere, or doesn't appear afraid of humans, you should leave it alone and call a wildlife specialist or bat specialist to remove it. But if they're flying laps around your living room, chances are very good that they are not sick.

wendy
Jul. 26, 2010, 04:06 PM
Most who became infected had NO recollection of any bat exposure.

so by this logic the OP, who has plenty of recollection of the bat in her bedroom should be safe and the rest of us who have NO recollection of bats in the bedroom should run out and get vaccinated????

seabreeze
Jul. 26, 2010, 08:22 PM
Please read this link from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are the authority on this type of thing. I wouldn't take it lightly, if I were you, OP. Good luck!

http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/education/index.html

Joie
Jul. 26, 2010, 08:57 PM
From the CDC article

"For example, one 4-year-old patient, who died of rabies, was still sleeping when her caregivers checked on her because they heard strange noises. They found a bat on the floor of her bedroom. She was most likely bitten and did not fully awaken. This patient developed tingling and itching on her neck at what was probably the site of a bat bite as she became sick with rabies a few weeks later.

In another case, a 10-year-old child removed a bat from his bedroom without adult supervision and several months later developed tingling and itching on his arm and one side of his head as he became sick with rabies."



SEVERAL WEEKS to SEVERAL MONTHS after exposure...

I don't know why anyone would risk rabies if there is a possibility they were exposed.

JoZ
Jul. 26, 2010, 09:00 PM
I am going to refrain from posting MOST of the comments I'd like to make on this thread, and just point out that geographic differences may account for some of the attitudinal differences.

I am originally from Massachusetts, and I fear and loathe raccoons. I can totally understand being alarmist about bats if they were the big rabies vector in a particular area.

Try getting someone in the PNW, vets included, excited about rabies. It just doesn't have the same impact out here. My horses don't have rabies shots. Slowly I'm learning that a raccoon in the barn is NOT cause for panic.

How many people nationwide contract rabies each year? According to the WA State Dept of Health, it ranges from 1 to 7 people. Even in MA I probably didn't need to get my knickers in a twist over it.

mjmvet
Jul. 26, 2010, 11:30 PM
Sure, it might be one in a million. But I'd sure be sad if that 1 were me. It's not that its that likely to happen, its just that you WILL die if it happens to you. The CDC info has been provided for anyone who is interested in reading it.

Auventera Two
Jul. 27, 2010, 09:48 AM
If only 1-7 people in the entire US contract rabies every year, then I'm going to continue not freaking out every time I see a bat. Cripes how many hundreds of thousands die in auto accidents every year? And isn't it something like 100,000 that die of influenza every year? Perhaps you should be shaking in terror every time you go to the grocery store or walmart in December. There are flu germs EVERYWHERE. You should wrap yourself up in a ventilator suit and douse yourself in disinfectant before climbing back in your car. And...OMG. What if somebody with a flu germ on their hand actually TOUCHED that can of corn before YOU touched it???!!?!? OMG. OMG. Freak out time!

I have bigger and better things to tizzy myself up over than a bat flying around my yard.

Seriously.

Ghazzu
Jul. 27, 2010, 12:55 PM
Even in MA I probably didn't need to get my knickers in a twist over it.

I'm in MA, and although I don't get any twisted undergarments over rabies, I do have a very healthy respect for it.

I've handled a few rabid animals, both domestic and wild.

And yes, I'm vaccinated.

Elfe
Jul. 27, 2010, 02:10 PM
After reading all the posts and the links, I decided I needed to look into this.
I spent Monday morning calling my doctor's office and the health department, after I was referred to it.
The nurse at the health department basically told me the same stuff that is on the CDC website. So, she arranged for me to go to the emergency room of the hospital of the closest city to start the rabies series and the immunoglobulin.
While waiting to go, I investigated a strange smell in my house, sort of like a propane smell. I remembered that when I let the dog out of his crate in the morning, he seemed to be interested to something under the refrigerator. Sure enough: a decomposing bat ! Called the nurse at the health department again to see if I needed to bring it in, no she says, can't be checked anyway if it's already smelling and we'll never know if the same one or not. OK, back to plan A. Went to plug the fridge back in and the plug caught on fire.
Then off to the hospital and 4 hours later, I was on my way with a script for 3 more rabies shots.
Thanks to everybody for the advice, if it hadn't been for the posts here, I might not have acted on this.

citydog
Jul. 27, 2010, 02:26 PM
Thanks for the update, Elfe. Glad you went. :yes:

CatOnLap
Jul. 27, 2010, 02:32 PM
Please, Elfe, I am one of the ones in the PNW who has no worry about bats in the house- here that happens at least once or twice a summer, and I've been known to shoo raccoons out of my bedroom or kitchen with a broom. We haven't had a case of human rabies on this island in modern times, we do not vaccinate our horses, although we are still required by law to vaccinate our dogs. But we know the virus is found in bat species of the same type that are on our island, so I do think about it whenever I catch another bat in my baseball cap and release it back outside. I think they come in after mosquitoes and moths, who fly in the open windows at night. We don't have many screens on windows here as bugs are not a big problem compared to other places I lived.

So for us who are unlikely to ever encounter a problem, but are still curious, could you please report on your personal experience with the immunoglobulin shots? It used to be they were described as excruciatingly painful intra abdominal injections with a 4 inch needle, and made you sick- what is your experience? Perhaps people would be less likely to avoid the prophylaxis if they knew it was no big deal...

Oh yeah and sorry about your fridge! it never rains but it pours. It wouldn't ahve been funny if the plug had shorted out and burned your house down- so maybe the dead bat did you a favour.

CatOnLap
Jul. 27, 2010, 02:40 PM
Wow, all the mass hysteria and panic over a bat in the house...........we've shared our house with bats over the years, unfortunately, and have never caught one

Sorry, just saw this quote and howled. Never thought you'd admit to having bats in your belfry, A-Two! :lol:

Elfe
Jul. 27, 2010, 02:45 PM
So for us who are unlikely to ever encounter a problem, but are still curious, could you please report on your personal experience with the immunoglubuin shots? It used to be they were described as excruciatingly painful intra abdominal injections with a 4 inch needle, and made you sick- what is your experience? Perhaps people would be less likely to avoid the prophylaxis if they knew it was no big deal...


The rabies shot went into the top of my arm (where you would get any vaccine) and I hardly felt it.
The immonuglobulin, 10 mls, was divided into 3 separate shots, that went into the hip (the fleshy part,right above the buttock) opposite to the side where the rabies went. IOW, the rabies went into my left, the immonuglobulin into the right. It stung a little bit, but nothing major.
I don't think the issue was finding a bat in the house but rather the fact that I was asleep. Apparently the bites are so small that you might not feel them.
I probably did not need to go through all this but then, as someone pointed out, why gamble with your life, since rabies is always fatal.
Which island are you on ? I am in Snohomish County.

CatOnLap
Jul. 27, 2010, 02:54 PM
I am on Vancouver Island.
Glad to hear it was no more painful than any other normal shot!

Just Wondering
Jul. 27, 2010, 03:07 PM
So if 1 in 100 of suffering a horrible death is OK with you.....

Pretty poor odds.

CSSJR

Wow.

I must be pretty darn lucky then. I have a minimum of one a summer.

It's to the point now I wake out of a sound sleep to the stupid things flying around my bedroom and know exactly what I am hearing. I swear, get up and head to the bathroom to pee, shut the doors to the other rooms, open the front door and proceed to start playing bat ball with the broom.

citydog
Jul. 27, 2010, 03:12 PM
If only 1-7 people in the entire US contract rabies every year, then I'm going to continue not freaking out every time I see a bat.

I have bigger and better things to tizzy myself up over than a bat flying around my yard.


It's not about "seeing bats" at large and bats flying around in yards, it's about being asleep in a confined space with a bat. There's a significant difference. The CDC and the OP understand that, apparently you don't.

And that "1-7 people a year contract rabies" figure doesn't mean what you think it means. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5703a1.htm

sisu27
Jul. 27, 2010, 03:27 PM
Scary read. Sounds like unless you are symptomatic it is not too late to receive the shots if you suspect contact. Perhaps I should consider since I woke up twice with bats flying in my room. I had no idea it could incubate for months and even years.

Once you get the shots are you good for life?

Thank you Elfe for this thread.

trubandloki
Jul. 27, 2010, 03:31 PM
All the hysteria aside.

I used to get small brown bats in the attic of my house (for about a week every summer). They would sometimes find there way into the rooms on the upper floors. Per everyone I contacted (including the health department, the cooperative extension and several other organizations) it was not something to freak out and run and get rabies shots for.

I am not going to tell someone not to get them if they want to. I am just telling you what I was told.

People tend to be overly paranoid when they hear the word bat.

I sure hope all you people who insist on rabies shots run and get them every time you get near a skunk.

Auventera Two
Jul. 27, 2010, 03:32 PM
Well, let's see, I've probably woke up at least 5 different times to the sound of flapping wings in the house. Apparently none of the rabid, vicious blood suckers have seen fit to attack me while I sleep. So I'll just continue worrying about the big things that are far more likely to take my life.

If somebody wants to get rabies shots, I certainly won't argue against it. But I do think all the internet hysteria is nothing more than that. A little drama and spice to heat up a boring afternoon in the office. In dealing with the bats in our house over the years, this is the first I have read that I should be high tailing it to the ER and getting emergency rabies shots. Like I said, only on COTH...........

Trub - a skunk, raccon, or even a stray dog or cat. And if you ever find a mouse in your house, you should probably get scared of Hantavirus too. Seriously, the internet has done a lot of good for the world, but creates a whole lotttadrama too.

Alagirl
Jul. 27, 2010, 04:27 PM
Bats do fly during the day- it's usually if something has disturbed their roost. But they try not to, b/c they are a target of birds, like Bluejays. there can be other reasons, a Broken wing, etc.. But never handle any wildlife without THICK gloves, and it's best to call a wildlife rehabber first.

fly, not flop ;)

and btw, there are rehabbers for squirrels out of the wazoo, bat (or birds) not so much...

Rabies is nothing to be sneezed at, but also panic is not called for.

(and yes, regionally the mileage varies)

SmokenMirrors
Jul. 27, 2010, 04:31 PM
As with a very few, not going to go screaming or running to the doc begging for a rabies shot. Not going to duck my head and cry when a bat dives around me in the front pasture at night around our big light.

Since a few are rabid, no pun intended, about bats, take a read on this page:
http://www.batconservation.org/content/Batsrabies.html

They say:

"Rabies is a fatal disease transmitted from one animal to another by biting. World wide, rabies kills about 30,000 people each year, 99% of the cases transmitted by dogs. Rabies in bats is not common. About 5% of bats submitted to state laboratories test positive. This does not mean that 5% of all bats are rabid, because sick individuals are more likely to be caught and turned in than are healthy bats. Scientific surveys of wild bats typically report a positive rate of less than 0.5% for most North American bat species. Even where a rabid bat had been found, examinations of the entire colony usually show no other rabid individuals.

Interestingly, a recent study (2007) found that when the rabies virus was introduced into a bat colony a immune response is triggered. When blood analyses were done on these bats the results suggested that bats are able to produce antibodies to the virus that can last up to twelve months. Other findings of the study suggest bats are only able to infect other animals for five days. The results of this study are extremely important, as they show the risk of rabies transmission from bats is very low."

Alagirl
Jul. 27, 2010, 04:50 PM
As with a very few, not going to go screaming or running to the doc begging for a rabies shot. Not going to duck my head and cry when a bat dives around me in the front pasture at night around our big light.

Since a few are rabid, no pun intended, about bats, take a read on this page:
http://www.batconservation.org/content/Batsrabies.html

They say:

"Rabies is a fatal disease transmitted from one animal to another by biting. World wide, rabies kills about 30,000 people each year, 99% of the cases transmitted by dogs. Rabies in bats is not common. About 5% of bats submitted to state laboratories test positive. This does not mean that 5% of all bats are rabid, because sick individuals are more likely to be caught and turned in than are healthy bats. Scientific surveys of wild bats typically report a positive rate of less than 0.5% for most North American bat species. Even where a rabid bat had been found, examinations of the entire colony usually show no other rabid individuals.

Interestingly, a recent study (2007) found that when the rabies virus was introduced into a bat colony a immune response is triggered. When blood analyses were done on these bats the results suggested that bats are able to produce antibodies to the virus that can last up to twelve months. Other findings of the study suggest bats are only able to infect other animals for five days. The results of this study are extremely important, as they show the risk of rabies transmission from bats is very low."

Interesting stuff!
Man, I realized I have not looked at batcon in AGES!!!:eek:

(but I have no more bats in the Bellfry....:winkgrin:)

Always Tardy
Jul. 27, 2010, 10:21 PM
Here's a link for Rabies in Washington State.http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehsphl/factsheet/rabiesfct.htm

I'm sure if I found a bat, I'd probably freak right out, whether warranted or not, but I'm from FL so I worry that every wild/loose animal could be rabid. When I was younger, a student brought a raccoon for show and tell, yep, it was rabid. And this was when the shots were horrible. And in the last 10 yrs or so, a lot of college kids had to have shots after petting a fox that was sitting in the parking lot. It had the Dumb form evidently, and everyone wanted to pet the cute little fox:no:

Glad you started the shots. Always better to be safe!

SportNCurls
Jul. 27, 2010, 11:05 PM
As with a very few, not going to go screaming or running to the doc begging for a rabies shot. Not going to duck my head and cry when a bat dives around me in the front pasture at night around our big light.

Since a few are rabid, no pun intended, about bats, take a read on this page:
http://www.batconservation.org/content/Batsrabies.html

They say:

"Rabies is a fatal disease transmitted from one animal to another by biting. World wide, rabies kills about 30,000 people each year, 99% of the cases transmitted by dogs. Rabies in bats is not common. About 5% of bats submitted to state laboratories test positive. This does not mean that 5% of all bats are rabid, because sick individuals are more likely to be caught and turned in than are healthy bats. Scientific surveys of wild bats typically report a positive rate of less than 0.5% for most North American bat species. Even where a rabid bat had been found, examinations of the entire colony usually show no other rabid individuals.

Interestingly, a recent study (2007) found that when the rabies virus was introduced into a bat colony a immune response is triggered. When blood analyses were done on these bats the results suggested that bats are able to produce antibodies to the virus that can last up to twelve months. Other findings of the study suggest bats are only able to infect other animals for five days. The results of this study are extremely important, as they show the risk of rabies transmission from bats is very low."
just to point out one tiny thing.. yes dogs are the primary vector worldwide, but that is mainly 3rd world countries that do not have rabies prevention...because of vaccinations of pets and livestock, we have considerably lowered the chances of infection from domesticated animals HERE... In the USA the primary infector of humans are bats.

I was very close to a highly suspected rabid bat several years ago, I had been leaning on a wall that it was crawling up, probably leaned against it :eek: .. it was daylight, and it hung there gapping its mouth (eekkkk) the thing was tiny (but I think it grew 10 times when it flashed tiny fangs ;) just kidding bat lovers...)

I also did not know at that time to trap or test it or to seek attention... my husband humanely destroyed it as it seemed to be in the dumb state, I wrongly assumed I would have felt it bite.. years later I read up much of the same stuff posted here and thought back to that incident hmmmmmm asked my doctor if I should still do the after shots, and ummmmmmmm he refused and suggested anxiety meds LOL

Oh well I hope I wouldn't have the rare case that takes years to develope (one such claimed 19 !!!) but from now on.... I am sorry if it is in my house, and catchable, or I have been sleeping .. it'll be tested to be sure.

I am not going out and slaughtering bats, and quite enjoy watching them fly by, but if it is in my domain it is beter to be safe then sorry.

OP glad you got the shots.. I would just for peace of mind :)