Accurate Rabies in Bats Information for Tweeters WAS: [Tweeters] Re: Bat close encounter, RFI

Kelly McAllister mcallisters4 at
Mon Aug 29 18:37:16 PDT 2016

I spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with the Washington
Department of Health's rabies expert and he insisted that the fact that
Washington only has the bat strain of rabies does not mean that bats are the
only mammal in Washington that have rabies and can infect you with a bite. I
know that all of the cases of rabies in humans in recent decades have been
traced to contact with bats but, apparently, you can't rule out rabid
raccoons, skunks, coyotes, etc. in Washington. It makes no sense to me to
see how prominently the Department of Health web site features this idea of
a bat strain of rabies when knowledge of this small fact has essentially no
practical value when it comes to taking proper precautions to prevent
contracting the disease. That's what I got out of the conversation and I
pressed on the subject of bats as the sole reservoir of rabies in Washington
and was told, emphatically, that it's merely a reference to a strain of
rabies that co-evolved with bats but could infect virtually any mammal and
be passed on to other mammals.

Kelly McAllister

Olympia, Washington

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