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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know some people don't realize they've been bitten by a bat, does this occur only when they were bitten while asleep?
 
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I don't know.

It doesn't seem like most bats would choose to bite someone while they were sleeping unless the bat had rabies (vampire bats maybe, but I don't live where there are vampire bats.)

Personally, I think I would notice if a rabid bat attacked me in my sleep. lol But I tend to be a light sleeper.

Do bats transmit rabies only through biting?
As with all animals, rabies is transmitted by bats primarily through a
bite. Breathing the airborne rabies virus has been reported in one
bat cave under exceptional circumstances. All but one of the
people who died of bat rabies in the U.S. were unaware of a bat bite;
bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily
seen. Inapparent or unrecognized bat bites may be most likely to
occur in children or someone with mental impairment who cannot
interpret or report what has happened, or when someone picks up a
bat or has one fly into them and contact their bare skin, or when
someone is asleep.
http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/rabies/docs/bigbatbook.pdf
 

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Common bats in the US are insectivores, and eat flying insects. I suppose vampire bats may bite humans but livestock are much more convenient. Rabies is adanger. I read about the guano miners who risked all kinds of pulmonary ailments from breathing the mold spores growing on the bar doo. There was no mention of bat bites being a hazard. I think od them as flying rats. Ugh!
Don't know about fruit bats in the tropics -
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@meltedsorbet & @OldManRivers

Still question remains: Could a person at night have a bat fly right past them bite/nick them and fly right by without them hearing or seeing it, just feeling a bug bite
 

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Depends, does it look like a bat bite? I'd probably ask my doctor. As someone who has received rabies vaccines I think it is very important.
 

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@meltedsorbet & @OldManRivers

Still question remains: Could a person at night have a bat fly right past them bite/nick them and fly right by without them hearing or seeing it, just feeling a bug bite
For whatever reason, I can hear the squeals from bats (obviously not their echolocation techniques) despite being much older than most people (as we get older, we can't hear higher frequencies). I've also seen and heard them flying about a few times, as they aren't necessarily "quiet" when they flap their wings.

If a bat were to get close to someone and bite them, I'd assume it would be very easy to hear them flapping their wings as they slowed down briefly and sped up to execute the bite.

I'd say it would take a person that is hard of hearing first and foremost to not sense a bite was from a bat. That, and the breeze from the wings as it flew by the skin would be very noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
@Eerie

I'm not sure what a bat-bite looks like really, they're small and blood isn't present always


@Revenant

When you say hard of hearing, do you mean like a lot of wax in the ears or do you mean like almost deaf?
 

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@Eerie

I'm not sure what a bat-bite looks like really, they're small and blood isn't present always


@Revenant

When you say hard of hearing, do you mean like a lot of wax in the ears or do you mean like almost deaf?
I don't honestly know. Whatever it would take to not hear the flapping of wings go by quickly. I'd probably say more deaf than with wax in one's ears though. I don't have amazing hearing or anything, but I can hear them fly above me 10-20' sometimes.

(I walk my dog at 1-2am every night, so get to hear or sometimes even see them.)
 

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They don't really bite. It's a rubbing with their teeth until blood comes to the surface.

However, if it ran into you there's no telling if you were scratched by it's teeth.

The bad thing about rabies is that it takes awhile to show up in tests, and by that time it's usually fatal.

If it happened to you, the best thing would be to see your medical care provider. They can check with the local authorities and see if any critters with rabies have been reported in your area lately.

If you can catch the bat (alive), they can test it.


-ZDD


(btw, they don't give rabies shots in your stomach any more. That's just an old wives tale these days. Now it's an immediate shot near the bite and 5 injections in the arm, over 2 weeks).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Zombie Devil Duckie

Still if it ran into a person and nicked 'em, wouldn't they have heard it?


BTW: I know rabies shots aren't given in the stomach
 
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This is the most absurd discussion ever.

:)

So let me get this straight:

You want to know if a bat would be able to fly past someone and bite them without them realising.

I thought bats landed to bite.

And, just with any interference during sleep, the issue of whether you notice it or not is surely dependent on the way the bat interacts with you, and whether you're a light sleeper or not.

I think a bat could bite someone in their sleep. But it would not swoop past and do it in a heartbeat. They'd do it in the way they normally do. They'd land and have a nibble. If the person is a heavy sleeper, then they'll not wake up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Zombie Devil Duckie

You would think so, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. Depends on how distracted they were, the person and the situation.
Two people getting out of their cars and one of them reporting a bug bite like feeling with no noise...
 

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@Zombie Devil Duckie

Two people getting out of their cars and one of them reporting a bug bite like feeling with no noise...
nah, it was probably a biting fly or small "sweat" bee. As long as it doesn't look infected I'd say it's nothing to be overly concerned about. Just keep an eye on it. If it turns colors around the edges or doesn't get better, they might want to see their GP. If they don't want to pay for a visit, most GP's or medical centers offer a morning where people can walk in and get their blood pressure checked. Get your pressure/weight and then say "btw, I had this bug bite the other day...."

:)




-ZDD
 

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Two people getting out of their cars and one of them reporting a bug bite like feeling with no noise...
Given this response and everything you've shared thus far, I think its improbable that a bat bite occurred under these circumstances... There was no bat seen, no bat heard, and a sudden bug bite like feeling... sounds like a bug bite! no evidence of a bat, and nothing pointing to a bat. Our imaginations can run wild, though. :) Or mine can.. at least.

The times to take precautions and get the vaccine are when you have contact with an actual bat (seen and not imagined) or awake in a room with a bat...
 

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It's generally children that don't recall a bat biting them, not adults.

some interesting info can be found here: Knowledge of Bat Rabies and Human Exposure Among United States Cavers - Vol. 8 No. 5 - May 2002 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Wow--how weird. Those statistics might suggest that being in proximity or having a history of bat interaction could increase risk of rabies (aside from just bites).

Personally, I like bats. I've never been bitten and I've not gotten rabies, even though I've occasionally been around strange acting bats.

But still--I think with bites, that rabid animals tend to be more clumsy and obvious than healthy ones, and so I don't think that one would be as likely to be nicked by a bat as one would be by a mosquito.
 

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Wow--how weird. Those statistics might suggest that being in proximity or having a history of bat interaction could increase risk of rabies (aside from just bites).

Personally, I like bats. I've never been bitten and I've not gotten rabies, even though I've occasionally been around strange acting bats.

But still--I think with bites, that rabid animals tend to be more clumsy and obvious than healthy ones, and so I don't think that one would be as likely to be nicked by a bat as one would be by a mosquito.
There have been instances where going into areas heavily populated by bats caused contraction of rabies without a bite.

Mosquitoes can't carry rabies, but they do West Nile. there's a very interesting TWIV episode about that:
TWiV 1: West Nile Virus

also, a twiv about rabies, but there's an error in it. Pets can't get an antemortem test (aka, no blood test or biopsy test). they're not valid. The only test for pets is direct fluorescent examination of the cerebellum and brainstem. 100% fatal test.

rabies

they have more recent twivs on the topic, but haven't heard them yet.
 

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In my considerable experience with normal, non vampiric bats, they aren't interested in biting humans, and I wouldn't imagine even a rabid bat being interested in biting a sleeping human .(oops, just noticed this wasn't a sleeping thing.) You would notice a bat bite you and fly past, there's a kind of rustle that you hear while they fly by, and they're bigger than mosquitoes so the bite would actually have more physical interaction than something specifically evolved to suck blood without you noticing.
 
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