Health

Bat bite kills Texas boy after first rabies case in years

A Texas boy died of rabies after being bitten by a bat, health officials revealed today.

The seven-year-old had picked up a bat outside his apartment in Medina County, Texas, in late August 2021.

He told his parents he had been bitten, but they delayed taking him to the hospital because there were no teeth marks and he initially showed no symptoms.

Over two months he suffered from a host of symptoms, including vomiting and delusions, and after being misdiagnosed with shingles, he died in October.

His death — one of five fatal rabies cases in 2021 — was revealed today by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

It marks the highest number in ten years. There was no contamination in 2019 and 2020.

It comes because the CDC warned in May that rabies could be creeping into the US via animals imported from high-risk countries.

The boy was playing outside his apartment in Medina County, Texas when he was bitten by a bat last year. He was one of five rabies deaths in 2021 – the highest in the US in a decade

Bats Are The Most Common Cause Of Rabies In The Us, Despite People Usually Associating The Disease With Dogs

Bats are the most common cause of rabies in the US, despite people usually associating the disease with dogs

Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal.

Rabid animals can include dogs, bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and raccoons.

The disease is one of the most deadly diseases in the world and is fatal in more than 99 percent of cases.

Once rabies has been diagnosed in a person, there is no effective treatment.

Therefore, people should receive a series of injections as soon as they believe they have been exposed to rabies.

The boy was not given the preventative treatment for rabies known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), despite telling his parents about the bite.

The family did not realize that only contact without bite marks can cause rabies.

The boy went to school and went on with his normal life, not realizing that he was contagious.

Two months later, the child was taken to the emergency department with an itchy hand and pain in his arm, where he was sent home on an oral steroid.

The next day he developed a rash down one side of his body.

Doctors assumed it was shingles and he was put on a five-day course of antiviral drugs acyclovir, antihistamines and ibuprofen.

His condition quickly went downhill and a day later he became delusional and was given diazepam for spasms and gabapentin for pain.

The next day he returned to the hospital with nausea, vomiting, excessive drooling and a fever of 40°C.

He was also more confused and delusional, and was given a tube to ease his breathing.

Doctors thought he had a central nervous system infection, but all tests were clear.

It wasn’t until they got a detailed history, including the bat bite from two months ago, that the doctors realized it could be rabies.

Experimental treatments were tried, but the child died 22 days after his symptoms first appeared.

If he had been treated immediately after the bite, it’s unlikely he would have developed rabies, the CDC said.

Bats are usually the cause of rabies in the US, despite people usually associating the disease with dogs.

If anyone believes they have been bitten by a bat or come into contact with a bat, they should seek immediate medical attention, the CDC warned.

Rabies: death from a scratch

Rabies is a viral infection that targets the nervous system and brain.

It is fatal in almost all cases if left untreated – and has an incubation period of 20 to 60 days.

It is only spread to humans from infected animals, usually through the animal biting or scratching the person.

It can also be spread by an animal’s saliva coming into contact with a human’s skin scrape or cut. Most cases of rabies result from being bitten by an infected dog.

The symptoms of the disease are high temperatures, numbness in the area where the bite occurred, and hallucinations. Some victims also have hydrophobia, which is a fear of water.

Each year, there are about 55,000 cases of rabies worldwide, with more than 95 percent in Africa and Asia. Half of all rabies cases occur in India.

Every year, more than 29 million people worldwide receive a postbite vaccination. This is estimated to prevent hundreds of thousands of rabies deaths each year.

Source: WHO

Show More

Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

Related Articles

Back to top button