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Naughty Bats: They Carry Diseases

I’ve always thought that bats got a bad rap.  Just because one type of bat sucks blood from unsuspecting cattle, a whole vampire legend has unfolded, spun by Hollywood executives looking to feed upon a new movie blockbuster.  But what about the other 700 species of bats  who are vegetarian or eat mosquitoes and other bug pests?

Well, it’s getting harder and harder to defend these cuties, especially since two very incriminating reports were released recently.  Apparently, rabid bats are turning up in Illinois, and certain fruit bats are carrying an ebola-like virus in Africa.  So what’s a human to do?  Basically, you should avoid bats – don’t touch them or play with them.  And if you encounter one in your attic, it’s best to presume that it could carry the rabies virus and call in professionals to remove it.  I would be especially wary of bats in sub-saharan Africa (for all those of you who frequent that part of the globe) since the Marburg virus they carry is quite lethal.

There have been recent cases of bat-bourn rabies in Canada so although it’s really rare – it’s something to keep in mind.

Here’s to bat free living…

Addendum: just today a woman in Chicago was bitten by a rabid bat when trying to remove it from her home.  Guess she didn’t read my blog.  This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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One Response to “Naughty Bats: They Carry Diseases”

  1. RH Host Melissa says:

    No….It doesn’t look like she did read your blog.  That is creepy about the rabid bats….and I too had always thought of them as helpful harmless creatures.  

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