human rabies case in Texas
- Some people have asked why bats that have been handled with bare hands by
unvaccinated people are required by the California Health Department
(according to California Compendium on Rabies Control and CDC guidelines) to
be euthanized and tested for rabies. This poor kid is one example of why
we're so careful. Text pasted below in case link doesn't work:
San Diego CA
Texas teen fights for life after rabid bat bite
HOUSTON, Texas (Reuters) -- A Texas teenager bitten by a bat while he slept
in his Houston-area home was in critical condition with rabies in a local
hospital Wednesday, health officials said.
The high school sophomore awoke from a nap four weeks ago to find a bat had
apparently flown in an open window in his home, said Harris County Health
Department doctor Herminia Palacio.
"What we have is a history of the child waking up from a nap in his room and
seeing a bat in the room and having felt the bat brush against him," she
The boy did not know he had been bitten, which Harris County veterinarian
Dawn Blackmar said was not unusual because bats have "very, very tiny"
The bat was captured and thrown out the window, news reports said.
The boy began feeling ill last week, was taken to the hospital and diagnosed
with rabies. He is being treated, but Palacio said the chance of survival is
low. Ten people in the United States have died of rabies since 1998,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.
"Once a person becomes ill, there's really no effective treatment. Clinical
illness with rabies is almost universally fatal," Palacio said.
Symptoms can range from flu-like fever and headaches to anxiety, delirium
and hallucinations, the CDC said.
Bats, which wildlife experts say are beneficial animals because they consume
large quantities of insects, are prevalent at this time of year in Texas
because they are migrating north after spending the winter in Mexico,
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