This may sound strange, but on a recent road trip with my mom, we found a bat in our car. Although it did not bite either of us, we figured it must have been in there for awhile. It was sickly when released (we did not touch it) but is it possible we could have gotten rabies from the exposure to its feces/saliva/whatever? Should we get rabies shots just in case? Or if we do become ill, since we are aware of the exposure, would there be time for treatment?
Although it is highly unlikely that you contacted rabies from this incident TeenHealthFX strongly recommends for you and your mom to make an appointment with your doctor to have him/her check you out. Since bat bite are mostly painless and some hard to detect your doctor may want to give rabies prophylaxis (preventive treatment for a disease.)
Most bats don’t have rabies. For example, even among bats submitted for rabies testing because they could be captured, were obviously weak or sick, or had been captured by a cat, only about 6% had rabies. Rabies in humans is rare in the United States. There are usually only one or two human cases per year
You can get rabies from an infected bat if you are bitten or infectious material such as saliva or brain material (if it is dead) gets into your eyes, nose, mouth or an open wound. You cannot get rabies from having contact with bat feces, blood, or urine, or from touching a bat on its fur.
Rabies can only be confirmed in a laboratory. But any bat that is active by day or is found in a place where bats are not usually seen like in your home or car could be rabid. A bat that is unable to fly and is easily approached could very well be sick. Here is what the Center For Disease Control (CDC) advises what you should do if you have direct contact with a bat:
“While rabies can be caused from non-bite exposures, such an occurrence is rare. Assuming the bat did not bite a person prior to its death; the risk of rabies from a dead bat is remote. If there is any uncertainly about exposure to rabies, a person should contact the local or state health department. In the event that exposure does not appear to have occurred, a dead bat can be wrapped in plastic and discarded in appropriate facilities. Local and state animal control departments can provide further guidance on proper disposal of dead bats and other animals.”
When a person is infected with the rabies virus, the virus multiplies in the body until symptoms develop. This time between infection and onset of symptoms is called the incubation period which can last from a few days to several years. Early symptoms of rabies of rabies in humans are similar to flu like symptoms. This can include:
· General tiredness
· Discomfort, numbness or pain at the site of the bite.
As the disease progresses, neurological symptoms appear and may include:
· Slight or partial paralysis
· Difficulty swallowing
If you believe that you have been exposed to rabies, seek medical attention immediately. A rabies treatment is available, but must be administered before symptoms of rabies appear. If the symptoms of rabies develop, there is no cure for the disease. This is why many doctors will treat rabies even if there is the slightest chance you could have been exposed.
Not only bats but other wild and domesticated animals can carry rabies even if they appear very friendly. Do not allow bats or any other wild animal in your home. If you are bitten you should wash any bite wound thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately, even in the absence of an obvious bat bite. You should not dispose of bats before having them tested for rabies. Testing the bat can decrease the number of unnecessary rabies vaccinations and ensure exposed individuals are treated.
People in the Northeast United States and into Virginia have seen a tremendous increase in the number of dead bats over the last 5 years. More than a million bats have died from what has been called “White Noise Syndrome” named because of a white fungus that develops around the noses and wing membranes of many of the bats impacted which cause bats to emerge from cave crevices and other hibernation spots in the dead of winter. They take flight, burning up crucial fat reserves stored in the fall, and drop dead. This syndrome is not related to rabies.
Teens often abuse prescription drugs because of the myth that these drugs provide a medically safe high.
It is estimated that major depressive disorder (MDD) affects about 5% of adolescents, and that between 10 - 15% of adolescents have some symptoms of depression at any one time.
Statistics show that giving a teen a credit card does not teach them to be financially responsible or to encourage self-restraint, but actually promotes a “spend now and deal with the consequences later” mindset.
Girls are more likely to intentionally abuse prescription drugs than boys.
The reality of excessive interest rates and fees that often accompany credit card use for teens, can put youngsters in a position where they are losing out on admission to graduate school, getting a job, or renting an apartment because of damaged credit history.
Less than 33% of teens with depression get help, yet 80% of teens with depression can be successfully treated if they seek help from a doctor or therapist.
Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for all persons age 6-33, and about 45% of these fatalities are alcohol-related crashes.
About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year.
30% of teens with depression also have a substance abuse problem.
Freshmen bring an average of $1,585.00 in credit card debt to college.
About a third of women who seek services related to unprotected sex, such as pregnancy testing or emergency contraception, do not receive STD counseling, testing, or treatment.
7-10% of college students will drop out of school because of credit problems.
Teens with untreated depression are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, leading to higher rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Most smokers begin smoking as teens, and the average age of initiation is 12.5 years of age.
People with manic symptoms and Bipolar Disorder II are at a significant risk of later developing an alcohol abuse or dependence problem.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group.
The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is the highest of any industrialized democracy, nearly twice that of Great Britain and 10 times that of Japan. 4
Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use, and male high school students are more likely than female students to rarely or never wear seat belts.
A national study of women ages 15-44 found that women were almost twice as likely to receive contraceptive services rather than STD services.
The teenage pregnancy rate in the U.S. is at its lowest level in thirty years, down 36% since its peak in 1990. Research suggests that both increased abstinence and positive changes in contraceptive practice are responsible these recent declines in teen pregnancy.
A sexually active teenager who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within one year. 8
In the United States, at least 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders. 11
Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 38% were speeding at the time of the crash and 24% had been drinking.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds overall. 16
Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. 22
One in four teenage girls in the U.S. had at least one common sexually transmitted disease.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths ages 15 to 20. 19
The highest Chlamydia rates occurred among women ages 15 to 19 and 20 to 24.
About 44% of rape victims are under age 18. Three out of every twenty victims (15%) are under age 12. 25
Each year, half of all HIV infections are among people under the age of 25.
Crash risk is particularly high during the first year that teenagers are eligible to drive.
One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes. 23
Teen girls ages 15-19 have the highest Gonorrhea rate of any age group.
The motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16-19 is more than one and half times that of their female counterparts.
More than four in 10 young women become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20 - nearly one million teen pregnancies a year 3
The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers; the risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in this country. More than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco-related causes each year, and most of them began using tobacco before the age of 18.
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group.
Underage drinking costs the U.S. more than $58 billion every year; enough to buy every public school student a state-of-the-art computer.
At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for older drivers.
Teens who drink are more likely to be victims of violent crimes and sexual assault, have serious problems in school, be involved in drinking-related traffic crashes, and develop problems with alcohol later in life.
Nearly all the poison deaths in the U.S. are attributed to drugs, and most drug poisonings result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs.
Alcohol kills 6.5 times more youth than all other illicit drugs combined.
Persons aged 15-24, who represent only 14% of the U.S. population, account for 30% ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% ($7 billion) among females.
Among young people ages 12-17, prescription drugs have become the second most abused illegal drug, behind marijuana.