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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 12, 2014

Mass Exposure to Bats at Air Force Base Leads to Group Screening

JAMA. 2014;312(18):1851. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.14224

In the largest rabies screening the US military has ever undertaken, 922 Air Force trainees at the Joint Base San Antonio–Lackland, Texas, were assessed earlier this year for possible rabies exposure from Mexican free-tailed bats.

This particular breed of bat, which commonly carries rabies, had been seen at night in the sleeping bays, which house up to 60 trainees each. Two hundred trainees were subsequently treated with rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is indicated not only for people who have been bitten or scratched, but also for those exposed while sleeping and unaware they’ve been in contact with a bat (Webber BJ et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63[34]:749-752.)

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