FAQ: Bat Diseases

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Zoonotic viruses are those than can pass from one animal to another, and bats are known hosts to more than 60 of them. Furthermore, they are carriers of other infectious viruses, bacteria, and parasites. However, just because a bat is a host does not mean they’re infected, or even infectious. Keep on reading to find out more about transmissible bat diseases, including the answers to a number of the most frequently asked questions asked by readers just like you.

Bats are most famous for being carriers of the Rabies virus. Additionally it is possible for bats to take the SARS virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome), however, it’s uncommon, and the transmission from bat to human is much sexier. Other than zoonotic viruses, bats can also lead to additional health concerns. Their droppings (also referred to as guano) can grow fungi spores (Histoplasma Capsulatum) which become airborne. If inhaled, it can cause a respiratory disease known as Histoplasmosis, which can be incredibly severe for young children, elderly folks, and those with weakened immune systems. Bats can also cause parasitic outbreaks, such as lice, bat mites, bed bugs, and fleas.

What Happens if a Individual Gets Rabies?

Every time a person has contracted rabies, they will start to display particular signals, in which case they’ll need to go to the emergency room immediately. These signs will appear like the flu or common cold, with symptoms such as fever and headache. As the virus progresses, other signs like dizziness, rage, and confusion. Now, if a man or woman is infected with Rabies, they can go to the emergency room and receive effective treatment to stop the virus from multiplying.

Can Pets Get Infected?

All of these illnesses and parasites may all be transmitted to both pets and people. It is important to have your pet properly vaccinated annually to prevent complications or fatalities that result from a wild animal attack or bite. Common pet vaccines include: Rabies, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, and Parainfluenza. Vaccinations are important for people also, especially children and people with weakened immune systems.

How Do Bats Transmit Diseases?

The most common way of bacterial or viral transmission is through blood or saliva. This often happens in the form of a bat bite or scratch. In case that you or a loved one is bitten by a wild animal, it’s important to call your physician immediately. Based upon the description of the bat and the boosters you have one document, your doctor will determine whether you need emergency services. If a pet is bitten, take them into the emergency vert clinic straight away.

Which Diseases Just Affect Bats?

There are some diseases that can affect bats, but cannot be transmitted to other mammals. The most common disease is called White Nose Syndrome (WNS). It gets its name from the distinctive symptoms it renders in bats, namely a white fungal growth on their noses, muzzles, and other areas of the body. Geomyces destructans is a newly-discovered fungus that’s supposed to cause White Nose Syndrome in bats. Bats infected with White Nose Syndrome will show strange signs and exhibit odd behaviors. This includes daytime activity and clustering near the entry points of their roost. In North America, this disease is spreading quickly among Microchiroptera populations, and has caused millions of bat fatalities.

 

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