Can I get rabies through bats?
Hello, I am scared as today in the evening when I was opening my shed in my backyard and a bunch of bats flew out. I didn’t get bit but should I go to the hospital to get checked out for rabies or should I wait and see if I start feeling sick? Please suggest what needs to be on higher priority? Am I at higher risk of getting rabies? If yes, then what should I do? I am worried
@ylin-0 Hello, Yes, you should go to the hospital immediately for rabies prophylaxis. Bats have known carriers of rabies and they don’t have to bite to transmit rabies. Studies have shown that bats can transmit the rabies virus to humans through aerosolized particles of saliva and feces. Rabies can spread to people from bats after minor, seemingly unimportant, or unrecognized bites or scratches. Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (or PEP, which includes vaccination) is recommended for any person with a bite or scratch from a bat unless the bat is available for testing and tests negative for rabies. Rabies is almost universally deadly once symptoms start but rabies can be effectively prevented. Therefore, anyone with close exposure to bats should be treated with rabies prophylaxis immediately. Anyone who touched or had contact with the bat or its saliva could be at risk of getting rabies, which is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. Fortunately, rabies can be prevented if treatment is given before symptoms appear, so quickly identifying anyone who has had contact is important.