Bats are an important wildlife reservoir for rabies virus and rabies virus variants. People exposed to bats should be evaluated for the nature of the exposure and prophylaxis begun if indicated.


People who should receive rabies prophylaxis:

(1) all persons who have sustained a bite, scratch or mucous membrane exposure to a bat, unless the bat has been shown to be negative for rabies by testing

(2) in the absence of demonstrable scratch, bite or mucous membrane exposure, persons should be treated if:

(2a) the patient awakens from sleep and finds a bat in the room

(2b) a bat is found in room with an unattended child, an unconscious person, a mentally disabled person or an intoxicated person

(3) if there is exposure to bat guano (in caves, attic, etc.)


Some notes:

(1) A bat bite is small and may appear minor.

(2) If possible, the implicate bat should be collected safely and sent to the local or state health department for testing.

(3) Bats should not be kept as pets.

(4) Bats should not be handled by untrained or unvaccinated persons.


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