So here's the answer....if you or someone you know awakes or discovers a bat in a sleeping area......
Assume they have been bitten and seek medical attention. While only 1% of the bat population carries rabies...a person can be bitten or scratched by an infected animal while sleeping and be totally unaware that a bite or scratch occurred. What you need to know is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO CURE FOR RABIES!!!!!
How did we come to share this information with you? Last Wednesday night we discovered a bat in our home....it was clinging from a rafter in my bedroom ceiling which is part of the open area of the main living area of our log cabin. We know that an outside door was left open for a quite a long time on Tuesday evening and the bat may have been in the house for at least 24 hours. We tried to open the doors and windows but the bat was last seen flying up into the rafters and stone work of our fireplace. That night we thoroughly searched the two bedrooms with doors and hunkered down to sleep there for the evening. I tossed and turned while something that I remembered reading on a blog a long time ago swirled in my head...
I recalled reading something about finding a bat in a bedroom and needing to seek medical treatment.
Thursday morning I got on line and started looking for information regarding bats and what should be done if you find one in a room where someone has been sleeping. We learned more about rabies and the number of people worldwide who die from it every year than we ever expected to learn. But what we didn't know is that there is absolutely no cure for rabies. Once you exhibit symptoms there is no treatment. Because we don't have the bat....we can't send it to be tested to see if the animal is a carrier of rabies. Knowing that information would have given us an option of starting treatment if the bat was infected with rabies....but without it there was only one decision to make...and because the bat was found in the main sleeping and living area of our cabin....and because the children sometimes leave their rooms to use the bathroom and return to their beds without closing their doors....we had no choice but to seek medical treatment for their safety as well.
After contacting the local and state health departments we were advised to seek immediate medical treatment for possible exposure to rabies. Friday we spent five hours in the emergency room of our nearby hospital. We were each thoroughly examined for bite wounds or scratches and while all of us appear not to have any visible bites...bat bites can be difficult to detect. Which leaves us to the ouchy part.....we each received injections to protect us from developing rabies. Hubby and I received one injection in the arm....two in the bottom...and one on each thigh....FIVE shots each....OUCH!!!!
Here's the hard part....both of my children each received an injection in their arm and one on each thigh....sweet babies...OUCH... THREE shots each....my heart ached when I knew what needed to be done to keep them safe. Their tear stained faces after there injections made my soul ache and what I wouldn't have given to make the whole situation disappear.
And it's not over....for post-exposure non-bite rabies treatment the injections continue on days 3, 7 and 14 for one additional injection each.
If you've read this far and are still here....hopefully this little bit of information will weave it's way into your being and if you or someone you know finds them in this situation you will be able to recall it. I will tell you to skip calling your primary care physicians....ours was clueless when it came to answering questions regarding the treatment of rabies. It is a medical URGENCY...no typo....and you should seek medical attention at an EMERGENCY room. They were the only treatment facility that carried the injections we needed.
If you're still here and want a chance to win my giveaway....leave your name and a contact email in the comments and tell me if you'd like a prize box full of wooly fun for knitting and spinning........or a prize box full of quilty cottony stitchy things.
Either way... on my last day of treatment (today is day 2) I will pull a name from all of the comments and send off a box full of happy things.