What is Rabies?
Rabies is a serious disease that is caused by a virus. Rabies is mainly a disease of animals however, humans can get rabies when bitten by an infected animal. At first sight, there might not be any symptoms, but as weeks or even months go by after a bite, rabies can cause pain, fatigue, headaches, fevers, and irritability. These are followed by seizures, hallucinations, and paralysis. Human rabies is almost always fatal!
Wild animals – especially bats – are the most common source of human rabies infection in the United States. Skunks, raccoons, dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes, and other mammals can also transmit the disease. Human rabies is rare in the United States, as there have only been 55 cases diagnosed since 1990.
The Rabies Vaccine
The rabies vaccine is given to people at high risk of rabies to protect them if they are exposed to an animal who has been infected by rabies or one who has bitten them. It can also prevent the disease if it is given to a person after they have been exposed. Rabies vaccines are made from killed rabies virus and it cannot cause rabies.
Who should get Rabies Vaccines and when?
Preventive Vaccinations (No Exposure)
- People at high risk of exposure to rabies, such as veterinarians, animal handlers, rabies laboratory workers, spelunkers, and rabies biologics production workers should be offered rabies vaccine
- People whose activities bring them into frequent contact with the rabies virus or with possibly rabid animals
- International travelers who are likely to come into contact with animals in parts of the world where rabies are common
The Pre-Exposure Schedule for rabies vaccination is recommended in 3 Doses. Anyone who has been bitten by an animal who otherwise may have been exposed to rabies should clean the wound and seek a doctor immediately. The doctor will determine if they (or you) need to be vaccinated.
It is recommended that a person who is exposed and has never been vaccinated before getting 4 Doses of rabies vaccine.
A vaccine, like any other medication, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small, and serious problems from rabies vaccine are very rare. If there is a serious reaction, call 911 or get to the nearest hospital.
(You can learn more at the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/rabies/ )
Information provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
We offer nice and friendly bat removal through a process called exclusion. Exclusion is where the bats are able to come out of your home and not get back in without hurting or harming them.
Dealing with a bat infestation may be one of the most difficult problems when owning a home but how and when a person should deal with the bat guano, can also be a difficult decision.
With a properly insulated and ventilated home, you’ll be able to manage and mitigate excess heat and humidity more effectively and help extend the life of your home.
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If I Found A Bat In My Home, Should I Test It?
Yes, the CDC recommends that you should always test bats that are in your house and that you catch.
Do I Need A Rabies Shot?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is very clear when addressing rabies. “Recent data suggest that transmission of the rabies virus can occur from minor, seemingly unimportant, or unrecognized bites from bats… Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis is recommended for all persons with [a possible] bite, scratch, or mucous membrane exposure to a bat unless the bat is available for testing and is negative for evidence of rabies.”
If the bat was in a room with a child, a person asleep, a person intoxicated, or someone mentally impaired, they should seek medical attention. Post-exposure rabies shots may save your life, but the shots are very expensive so it is important to get the answer right!
If you can safely collect the bat you’ve come in contact with and submit it for rabies diagnosis, you may not need post-exposure rabies shots. To test a bat for rabies virus, its brain must be intact. The bat can be dead or alive when you collect it, but it will be euthanized for the test. You must preserve the bat in a container until it can be picked up or dropped off for testing. If the bat is dead, it should be stored in a cool place to prevent decomposition.
Is Bat Guano Dangerous?
In most cases, you can sweep up and clean bat guano without any cause for concern, however, we always recommend wearing protective equipment such as gloves, mask, and goggles. There is a small chance you can come into contact with and contract Histoplasmosis. A small amount of bat guano should be a harmless as a few mouse droppings. Once the guano piles up, a fungus that causes histoplasmosis can start to grow, and this is when you need to be careful.
If you are going to clean up bat guano by yourself, we recommend spraying the guano with bleach or fungicide before disturbing it to help mitigate your risk. The best thing you can do is talk to a professional (like us) before attempting to clean up a large amount of bat guano first.
If you do not want to clean up bat guano, we would be more than happy to do it for you and provide our services to you!
Will My Insurance Cover The Cost Of Bat Removal Services?
As long as you don’t have a stated coverage policy excluding bats, your insurance probably allows for some sort of coverage for damages caused to the sheetrock by bats. Getting this coverage is often difficult but can be done.
If you purchased your home in the last 24 months and the infestation was not disclosed to you, the errors and omissions insurance for the real estate agent and the home inspector involved in the sale may provide coverage. Additionally, the seller of the property is often liable for the first 24 months after purchase.