In our last blog, When Should a Bat Be Captured and Tested for Rabies?, you learned a little about the threat of a fatal virus called Rabies. However, there are several misconceptions regarding the Rabies virus and its impact on our local bat populations. Fortunately, there is more than enough data to help us clear up the confusion surrounding the spread of this deadly disease. If you live near forests, woods, or large bodies of water, or work in an environment where bat exposure is possible, you may be very interested in learning the truth.
Continue reading to learn more about the Rabies virus, including how much of the bat population is actually affected, and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from threat.
The Rabies Virus
Let’s start this discussion by reviewing what Rabies actually is, medically and biologically speaking. You see, Rabies is a virus that attacks the central nervous system and causes inflammation of the brain. It is caused by Lyssavirus, which is a genus of RNA viruses, and transmitted by the blood or saliva of a host or infected animal.
Symptoms are often an onset of several reactions to the virus, initially including headache, fever, and a tingling sensation at the infection site, and eventually maturing into violent movements, loss of muscle control, aggression, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, death will soon follow.
The natural hosts for the Rabies virus are mammals and vertebrates, which are referred to as rabies vector species. This means that any mammal, including humans, can be carriers and transmitters of the disease. One of the most common animals that are given the stigma of rabies are bats. But the truth is, less than half of 1% of all bats in the world actually carry rabies (batworld.org). However, there is still a need for caution.
You should treat every bat as if it is a carrier by simply keeping your distance. Bats are protected by law, and serve a vital ecological and economical importance to our society, so it is important to never attempt to touch, harm, trap, or kill bats. Instead, admire them from afar, and if they become a nuisance to your property, enlist the help of a licensed Virginia bat control company for safe and humane service.
Although once contracted Rabies is 100% fatal, it is also 100% preventable. First and foremost, be sure to have your pets vaccinated on an annual basis for the Rabies virus. Next, be sure to have yourself vaccinated if you work, live, or frequent places that put you at a higher risk of rabid animal exposure, such as zoo workers, vet clinic staff, spelunkers, miners, lumberjacks, animal control workers, wilderness jobs, and more.
Virginia Bat Removal and Control
Call Virginia Bat Pros at 804-729-9097 when you need prompt and professional Virginia bat removal and control you can afford. We use safe and humane methods to deliver effective 24 hour bat control for residential and commercial properties throughout Virginia. We serve all of Virginia, including Richmond, Petersburg, Short Pump, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Virginia Beach, and all of their surrounding areas.