I worked with bats years ago. I remember when I went for my pre-exposure rabies shots, the nurse who gave me the shots was very concerned about the work I was going into. Apparently, her first ever patient was a man who ended up dying of rabies. A bat had flown into his tent while he was camping somewhere up north and landed on his head. He had a small bite but never went into the doctors or anything until the rabies symptoms started. By the time he went in to get checked out, it was too late, he ended up dying slowly over a month.
Even the pre-exposure rabies shots are only good for a year or two, at least when I got them. If I'd continued working with bats I would have needed yearly titer shots just to keep my immunity up enough to be safe around bats.
The problem with bats and rabies is, bats can be carriers without showing any symptoms until they're near death. The only way to know for sure if a bat that bites you has rabies or not is to take it in to be tested.
• 4 months ago