Rabies

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Rabies

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 26, 2018 1:47 pm

Ok, so bats are a really important part of the ecosystem and should never be harmed. Bats are our friends. :bat:

However, this is a bad idea with deadly consequences:
https://www.foxnews.com/health/utah-man ... J0BmAafJiw

Don't handle bats! If you ever wake up with bats in your room, you should consider that you have been bitten, even if you don't find a bite mark. Go to the hospital ASAP.
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Re: Rabies

Postby captnemo » Nov 28, 2018 11:37 am

Yes,bats are normally skittish animals that go out of their way to avoid human contact. Any bat that would allow itself to be handled is probably sick (there's a lot of potential illness's not just rabies) so just like any wild animal, handling them is a bad idea. My dad,a biologist, had to struggle with explaining this to me as a kid since I desperately wanted to catch a bat and let it hang out in my room. :)
Here's the link to the CDC's page again for anyone who missed it last time: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/diagnosis/animals-humans.html
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Re: Rabies

Postby Squirrel Girl » Nov 29, 2018 10:28 am

mrgrtt123 wrote:Now, I feel kinda worried whenever I visit an underground river and there are some bats living in the caves.


What CaptNemo said!

I've have gone through phases of hypochondria when being in caves, but there's no reason for it. Caves are natural homes for bats. The actual number of bats that harbor rabies, I once read, is about 1/2 of a one percent. Pretty small. But if you see bats in the daylight or out of their normal environment--LIKE YOUR BEDROOM--you should instantly become wary.
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Re: Rabies

Postby bobby49 » Nov 29, 2018 11:19 am

Just because the bats are not nipping at you, it doesn't mean that you are totally safe. One old friend of mine had been a show cave guide, and he died of histoplasmosis. That is a respiratory disease related to guano.
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Re: Rabies

Postby captnemo » Dec 2, 2018 10:47 pm

bobby49 wrote:Just because the bats are not nipping at you, it doesn't mean that you are totally safe. One old friend of mine had been a show cave guide, and he died of histoplasmosis. That is a respiratory disease related to guano.

Sorry to hear about your friend.That is definitely not a common occurrence with histo though. A great many cavers have probably had it and not even realized it since normally the symptoms are similar to the flu. Who hasn't been a little fatigued and achy after a hard week caving? Most serious cases I have read about actually occurred in places like New York city where the fungal spores were traced to pigeon droppings on building rooftops. That said though we did visit a cave with known histoplasmosis contagion in Botswana. The local geologist who lead us to the cave declined to enter with us since he had previously contracted histo from the cave. There was a large bat colony which was the source. None of our party contracted it though. I believe in part because it was unusually wet.(the spores become airborne when dry and disturbed) and because we took care to wear dust masks.
Image
The CDC has some good info on histoplasmosis and which areas it is most commonly found at https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/histoplasmosis/symptoms.html
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Re: Rabies

Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 3, 2018 3:34 pm

My brother-in-law got a serious case of histo from a chicken farm in Indiana a long number of years ago. It's not just caves, though midwestern caves can be a source. As I grew up caving in Iowa, it wouldn't surprise me if I hadn't gotten it, too, and not known.
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Re: Rabies

Postby trogman » Dec 7, 2018 5:37 am

Wow!
I am curious if there is any theory as to how he did contract the disease, given that (according to him and his wife) they were never actually bit by any of the bats. Perhaps just through contact with the bat's saliva?

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Re: Rabies

Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 7, 2018 10:41 am

trogman wrote:Wow!
I am curious if there is any theory as to how he did contract the disease, given that (according to him and his wife) they were never actually bit by any of the bats. Perhaps just through contact with the bat's saliva?


I have no memory of where I read it, but I know I read it somewhere reputable. That if you wake up and find a bat in your room, you should consider that you might have been bitten. The article says they did wake up to find a bat in their bedroom. Bats are mighty gentle in their biting. You shouldn't expect to be woken by a bite.
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Re: Rabies

Postby bobby49 » Dec 7, 2018 2:09 pm

If there is bat saliva on your skin surface, it isn't too hard to imagine that getting into your mouth or elsewhere.
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