Baltimore sees alarming spike in bats with rabies

August 19, 2011BALTIMORE (WJZ)– An increase in rabid bats is causing alarm in Baltimore City. You may have been bitten and not even know it. Weijia Jiang has more on the spike in cases. Bats are invading Baltimore. “Last year, I had 10 or 15 calls from June to August,” said David Shumaker, owner of Shumaker Animal Control. “This year, I probably average 10 to 15 calls per day.” The city health commissioner warns, it’s not just bats. It’s rabid bats, which could transmit the fatal disease to people and pets. “Once rabies becomes a virus in the human system, people die,” said Bill Wiseman from the Harford County Health Department. –CBS Baltimore
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4 Responses to Baltimore sees alarming spike in bats with rabies

  1. Golfdad641 says:

    The first documented fatality in the United States from rabies linked to a vampire bat attack was revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    The victim was a 19-year-old migrant worker who was bitten on the heel in his native Mexican state of Michoacan last summer.

    In the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality weekly report, it said the man was later hospitalized after falling ill while working at a sugar cane plantation in Louisiana.

    “During the next several days, the patient became gradually less responsive to external stimuli, developed fixed and dilated pupils, and began having episodes of bradycardia (slow heartbeat) and hypothermia,” the CDC said.

    The young man died shortly after his family ordered him taken off life support.

    While the range of the vampire bats is currently limited to Latin America, the CDC warned that it might be expanding toward the United States due to climate change.

    This “likely would lead to increased bat exposures to both humans and animals (including domestic livestock and wildlife species) and substantially alter rabies virus dynamics and ecology in the southern United States,” the CDC warns.

    The strain of rabies that killed the young man is especially virulent, with an incubation period of just 15 days, compared to the median 85 days in other U.S. cases of human rabies.


  2. This is a bit frightening. We have bats around our area. They love our mosquitoes.


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