1160200730

1160200730

Small bat hanging on the tree

Photo by: Getty Images/Rapeepong Puttakumwong

Getty Images/Rapeepong Puttakumwong

If A Bat Were To Bite You In Your Sleep, You'd Probably Never Know

By: Ashley Hamer

Rabies is rare, but most cases are associated with bats.

August 01, 2019

In 2011, a 46-year-old woman in South Carolina went to the emergency room complaining of chills, shortness of breath, and a tingling sensation. Within 12 hours, she was on a ventilator, and in less than two weeks, she died. The family reported that she had encountered a bat a few months earlier, but had simply gotten rid of it by shaking it out of curtains through an open window. She didn't think she had even had direct contact with the bat, and definitely didn't have any signs of a bite. Medical experts sent her samples to a lab, and sure enough, they tested positive for rabies.

Rabies is rare—according to the CDC, only 19 U.S. cases were reported in humans from 1997 to 2006. But of those, 17 were associated with bats, and three of those people weren't even aware they had come into contact with a bat. That's most likely because bats have very small teeth and produce a bite that doesn't hurt the way a larger animal's would, so it's possible that they might not even wake their victim. They also hardly leave a mark, making it difficult to know you were ever bitten. That's the scariest part: when you know you've been bitten by a rabid animal, you can take precautionary measures by seeing a doctor and getting vaccinated. But if you don't know you were bitten and don't take precautions, the disease can progress until it's too late. That's why if you ever find a bat in your bedroom or near children or pets, you should take action: capture the bat if you can, get it tested, and seek medical advice. Learn more real-life horrors about bats and rabies in the videos below.

This article first appeared on Curiosity.com.

Next Up

Believed-Extinct Rio Apaporis Caiman Rediscovered

The believed-extinct Rio Apaporis caiman (Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis) has been captured by Forrest Galante, wildlife biologist and host of Animal Planet’s EXTINCT OR ALIVE, and team, making history once again.

5 Things You Didn't Know Climate Change Could Do

Climate change has some complex effects that you may not even realize exist. Read on to learn more.

What Fat Bears and Astronauts Have in Common

The mysteries around hibernating bears have intrigued curious children and researchers alike for ages. What is hibernation, what causes it and aren’t bears too big to truly hibernate? And probably most interestingly - could humans do this someday?

Fishermen and Scientist Develop Rope-less Gear to Save Whales

Fishermen are testing alternative rope-less gear in order to help an effort to save the critically endangered whale species.

Mark Rober and MrBeast Team Up to Plant 20 Million Trees

They're planting 20 million trees, but they're on a deadline. Here's what you need to know to support their cause!

Catching a Glimpse of Comet NEOWISE, a Once in a Lifetime Moment

If you find yourself in a place with clean air and an unobstructed view of the night sky, you will undoubtedly be mesmerized by its starry-depth and beauty.

Baby Raptor Fossil Found in Alaska

Over 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, paleontologists found baby velociraptor fossils with big implications.

How COVID-19 Could Be Good News For Endangered Wildlife

Trafficking of wild animals around the world may be coming to a close, thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe.

An Underwater Adventure From the Comfort of Your Couch

The Georgia Aquarium is live streaming from some of their epic habitats!

How the West Coast’s Wildfires Could Irrevocably Change Wildlife

Wildfires have swept across the West Coast of America this year with devastating consequences. Burning millions of acres of land in their wake, the fires have not just wreaked havoc on forests, but could have a long-lasting impact on numerous wildlife species too.