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September 1995

Resurgence of Rabies

Author Affiliations

200 Huntington Ct Aptos, CA 95003

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(9):1043. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170220109025

I enjoyed the article by Fisher1 in the March 1995 issue of the Archives. I was, however, somewhat dismayed at the recommendation that bats be removed from barns. While I would not want to share my bedroom with a bat colony, I believe that Fisher is perpetuating a myth regarding the risk for bat rabies. Although I am not an expert on bats or rabies, it is my understanding that bats are not "carriers" of rabies in that, when a bat contracts the disease, it develops paralysis and is unable to fly. Therefore, if people are educated to avoid touching or attempting to pick up a bat, the risk for being exposed to a bat bite is negligible.

There is increasing awareness of the importance of bats in controlling insect overpopulation, and many farmers are putting up bat houses around their fields and orchards.

Anyone interested in learning more

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