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

cb black at
Mon Aug 29 19:43:39 PDT 2016


You are entirely correct - any mammal can acquire and pass on rabies.

It is a really good idea to not handle wildlife.

Thanks to excellent vaccination and public education programs rabies deaths
of humans in North America are rare.

We'd certainly like to keep it that way.

Curt Black
wr5j at



From: tweeters-bounces at
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at] On Behalf Of Kelly
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2016 18:37
To: tweeters at
Subject: RE: Accurate Rabies in Bats Information for Tweeters WAS:
[Tweeters]Re: Bat close encounter, RFI

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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