Bat bite has been added to the list of Florida wildlife bites that can kill after a resident died from a bat bite.
The Florida Department of Health announced in a report that the cause of death is not just the bite but rabies transmitted by the bite and if the victim didn’t receive adequate medical treatment after the bite.
Untreated rabies is deadly
The department also said that untreated rabies could result in almost 100% severe illness across different mammalian species. Some wildlife in Florida transmits the virus to humans as well as unvaccinated pets – which could be a threat to the pet owners and their family.
Florida Department of Health spokesperson Mara Gambineri urged everyone to avoid contact with wildlife.
Some of the ways to prevent being exposed to the virus include avoiding direct contact with wildlife or feeding them, visiting a vet for rabies vaccination for pets, closely supervising pets and children while playing outside.
Gambineri advised that if you believe you have had any physical contact with a bat or you have been exposed to the virus, contact a health care provider or health department without hesitation. Peradventure an exposure occurred; there is an effective treatment that acts as an antidote if administered early.
The primary transmitters of rabies in Florida are raccoons and bats. People, pets and other wildlife get exposed to rabies through bites from the host.
Key facts about bats and rabies
• The virus is contracted from the brain matter or saliva of infected animals. There is a zero possibility of being infected if there is no direct contact with any of the listed materials.
• There are 13 different species of local bats in Florida with seven others that appear once in a while.
• Bats are not the only carriers of rabies. Mammals are also carriers of rabies. However, in Florida, raccoons are foxes have a higher occurrence of rabies than bats.
• Bats in Florida feed on insects.
• Bats infected with rabies fall ill and die.