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September 1995

Resurgence of Rabies-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Baystate Medical Center Children's Hospital Springfield, MA 01199

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(9):1043. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170220109026

I appreciate the comments made by Dr Schmida on my discussion of rabies in pediatrics.1 His concern about the status of bat species in this country is well-founded; currently many states have laws concerning removal and relocation of bat colonies without destruction of the animals. It is important to point out, however, the constant low-level rabies infection in endemic populations of bats in this country. Indeed, of the six cases of rabies in humans reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 1994, four were a bat strain of rabies identified by viral RNA sequence analysis.2-4 Bat bites and scratches may go unnoticed and untreated. The recommendations regarding contact with bats made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are that rabies postexposure prophylaxis be considered for any contact with a bat when bite or mucous membrane contact cannot be excluded, and the bat

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