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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been contacted by a friend and asked to help gather information on behalf of one of her friends.<br><br>
This is the situation as she described:<br><blockquote><p>My friend found a bat in their house in the middle of last night, and was able to confine it to a room and open a window to allow it to leave; unfortunately, it may have come into contact with her children, 2 1/2 years and 6 weeks (by "contact," she has no idea if it just flew over them, or had skin-contact, or saliva/waste contact).<br><br>
No one told her to have someone come and get the bat to test it for rabies, and now her pediatrician/CDC/pest control people are telling her that her family needs to go through the series of 5-shots to guard against infection. To say that she's hysterically upset is putting it lightly, because her baby is 6 weeks old and no one - not even the CDC - has good info on possible side effects, etc.</p></blockquote>
Please respond ASAP if you have experience with rabies vax, especially for an infant, or can point me to reliable information I can forward.<br><br>
Thanks.
 

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Personally, I would pass on the shots...
 

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... I don't have experience w/ the rabies vaxes, but I KNOW that we had bats in our house all the time as a kid and never worried about it. I'm pretty sure my dad even got bit once or twice getting the damn things out of the house. Rabies is so incredibly rare... Sure its devastating if you actually get it, but the chances of that happening (esp. if you weren't bit, and just from saliva/feces) is pretty damn slim...<br><br>
My DH however I know did get rabies shots once and it sounded horrible - held down and 5 shots all at once!! ::shiver::
 

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That certainly is a tough one! BTW, have them check attic because they can live there and reproduce -- with a colony of thousands upon thousands. My friend had bats in her attic and she had to wait until the babies were 'of age' before they could do the elimination route (which is a screen over the vents to allow the bats to leave and prohibit them from coming back). We were told at the time that bats could get in a slit/crack just 1/2 inch thick.<br><br>
Okay...that being said I am not sure I would submit my children to rabies vaccinations if there is no bite mark. I really feel like there has to be some exchange of saliva in order to transmit the virus. I will search but am not familiar with a case of transmitted Rabies just via airborne...or even via very very remote contact with dung.<br><br>
Tell her to avoid at all costs but to ask them for stats...that might help her feel better. I would want to see stats on transmission. I would also want to have evidence provided that it is safe on a 6 week old. If they cannot provide evidence I would not do it!
 

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Is there a lot of rabies in the area?<br>
Was it a species of bat likely to transmit rabies (ie one that often got into close contact with rabid animals)? I know here the only sp. considered to be a risks are the vampires and those that roost with them.<br>
Is there a group in the area that deals with bat removal or rabies control? They might know if there is a local outbreak at the moment.
 

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This thread gives me the heeby jeebies. I can't offer vax advice but I recommend for everyone screens in all windows/doors and check them to make sure they have no openings along the seams or any tears. ugh ugh ugh
 

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OMG. Without a bite or anything, I'd say hell no. The rabies vax frequently kills or injures healthy adults, even tptb admit as much. I have to wonder if the fact that they have no data for a child that young and they're still pushing her to do it, if they're not looking to make her baby a test subject.
 

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Pinzmama, there is anecdotal and laboratory evidence that rabies transmission can occur via aerosolisation and in the case of bats sometimes the bite wound is undetectable. I can certainly understand your friend's dilemma. It has been estimated that about 1% of free bats carry rabies and 5-15% that are submitted for testing are positive. As far as the safety of the vaccine in infants, I found this on quick review:<br><br>
Randomised feasibility trial of pre-exposure rabies vaccination with DTP-IPV in infants. Source: The lancet [0140-6736] Lang yr:1997 vol:349 iss:9066 pg:1663 -5<br><br>
Pre-exposure rabies vaccines were administered to 2,4 and 6 month olds and no serious adverse reactions occurred. I know this is little consolation. Most of the data for post-exposure pertains to older infants/toddlers that tolerate the vaccine quite well and demonstrate protective titres.<br><br>
SM
 

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There is no way on this earth you could get me to subject a 6 week old infant to a rabies vax of questionable safety on the slim chance the bat 1) had rabies and 2) came in enough contact with the child to give it to them. No way.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>DreamsInDigital</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8295190"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There is no way on this earth you could get me to subject a 6 week old infant to a rabies vax of questionable safety on the slim chance the bat 1) had rabies and 2) came in enough contact with the child to give it to them. No way.</div>
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Yep, I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fishface</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8294726"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">... but I recommend for everyone screens in all windows/doors and check them to make sure they have no openings along the seams or any tears. ugh ugh ugh</div>
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Me too! When I was searching for bat rabies transmission information last night, I read that a bat can get in through a hole 3/4 inch in diameter or any gap as small as 3/8 by 7/8 of an inch -- I will never leave a window cracked open without a screen again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the replies, keep them coming.<br><br>
In defense of bats, here is information I found at several sites, but most succinctly here <a href="http://www.batcon.org/home/index.asp?idPage=91&idSubPage=62" target="_blank">http://www.batcon.org/home/index.asp...1&idSubPage=62</a><br><br>
Rabies transmission by bats is very rare contrary to popular opinion. Approx 1 death per year. In countries where rabies is more common, it is most often spread by dogs.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Rabies is nearly always transmitted by a bite, though non-bite exposures can result from contact between infected saliva or nervous tissues and open wounds or the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth. Careless handling is the primary source of rabies exposure from bats. Rabies virus has not been isolated from bat blood, urine or feces, and there is no evidence of air-borne transmission in buildings. Two cases of aerosol transmission were reported in the 1950s in Texas caves that support very unusual environments. However, no similar cases have occurred since, despite the fact that many thousands of people explore bat caves each year. No such transmission has occurred outside or in buildings.</td>
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So, even if there was contact, unless there was a bite or an open wound, transmission seem astronomically unlikely.<br><br>
Also from the site above, the kinds of bats that live in buildings aren't as likely to have rabies as cave bats, for example.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Variances of the rabies virus attributed to bats that commonly live in buildings have been associated with eight human fatalities in U.S. history.</td>
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Now, here's the less encouraging part, a bat bite can be nearly impossible to detect, so while it's easy for an adult to say, "hey, the bat didn't bite me, I'll be ok" the same isn't true of a 2 year old or an infant who can't tell you (or tell you reliably) if they have been bitten.<br><br>
Rabies is always fatal and it is a horrible way to die.<br><br>
I'm still looking for vax safety information. It's possible, I guess, that there's data from the countries where rabies is more common.<br><br>
I can't say what I'd do in this situation. The chance of transmission seems unlikely, but the disease is terrifying. And then the safety of the vaccine is (apparently) unknown. I've also heard of the CDC trying to bully parents into unnecessary treatment with known dangerous side effects (in a case of TB exposure, where it was clear transmission had not occurred), so it's hard to just take their word for it. Ugh.<br><br>
The only thing I know for certain is that I will check all of my screens and send DH into the attic to cover any opening larger than 3/4 inch in diameter or 3/8 by 7/8 inches.
 

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The reason I think they're being so aggressive with the vaccine is that once you become ill with rabies and start showing even the most beginning of symptoms... it's all over. There is no treatment for rabies and it's a horrible, painful way to die. You don't need a scratch or a bite to catch it either and yes, bats are one of the main carriers in the US.
 

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This is a little OT but on the topic of the bat ~ where were her children when this bat was in the house? I was assuming asleep but cannot be for sure. What reason would a bat have had to bite her children? Since bats are blind and are likely flying high up ~ what makes a bat bite someone? Just curious what would make a bat bite.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>A Boy's Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8296842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The reason I think they're being so aggressive with the vaccine is that once you become ill with rabies and start showing even the most beginning of symptoms... it's all over. There is no treatment for rabies and it's a horrible, painful way to die. You don't need a scratch or a bite to catch it either and yes, bats are one of the main carriers in the US.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: My aunt was a nurse in the ICU and they had brought a man in for unknown reasons. After he had been there for a while, they determined the man had rabies. All of the doctor/nursing staff had vaccines to prevent transmittion JIC. The man died, the staff did not contract rabies and no one died from the vaccines. Of course, the staff was all adults. I would want some facts on how many vaccines were given to newborns and the reactions but I would seriously consider giving the vaccine to my baby in the described situation. -And I had a vaccine death in the family.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>A Boy's Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8296999"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You don't need to be bitten in order to catch rabies.</div>
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True, but you do need to come into contact with saliva or in the very least some bodily fluid in order to transmit the virus.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lokidoki</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8296895"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is a little OT but on the topic of the bat ~ where were her children when this bat was in the house? I was assuming asleep but cannot be for sure. What reason would a bat have had to bite her children? Since bats are blind and are likely flying high up ~ what makes a bat bite someone? Just curious what would make a bat bite.</div>
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Bats are not blind, they use their eyesight when it is light out, they use sonar at night/dusk when they hunt. Rabies can be transmitted from scratches as well as bites so theoretically the bat can fly right into a child by accident, scratch them and transmit the virus.<br><br>
There was an experiment where they took bats in a room and put up a glass wall separating the room in half. The bats that were released with the lights on flew right into the glass partition (presumably because they couldn't see it) but when the lights were off, they navigated around the partition.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lalaland42</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8297053"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Bats are not blind, they use their eyesight when it is light out, they use sonar at night/dusk when they hunt. Rabies can be transmitted from scratches as well as bites so theoretically the bat can fly right into a child by accident, scratch them and transmit the virus.<br><br>
There was an experiment where they took bats in a room and put up a glass wall separating the room in half. The bats that were released with the lights on flew right into the glass partition (presumably because they couldn't see it) but when the lights were off, they navigated around the partition.</div>
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This still doesn't answer my question ~ what makes a bat bite a human? And, it is not stated in the OP as to what the children were doing lights on/lights off, etc.<br><br>
When my friend had the bats in her attic...she had upwards of 5,000 (so the pest control person said...we did not confirm). The way she knew there were bats was that one was lose in her house. Her roommate chased it around in the middle of the night thinking it was a bird. No one got Rabies and no one even mentioned them getting vaccinated.
 
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