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Bats


            
             This article talks about the dangers of the transmission of rabies, particularly the European bat lyssavirus, and the importance of rabies immunization for bat handlers in order to reduce the transmission of this disease to humans. The transmission-related death of a bat conservationist is discussed in relation to the source of the virus, which comes mainly from serotine and pond bats. Studies show that the lyssavirus are, although at a low level, definitely widespread in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. There were two infected bats found in the United Kingdom, both of which were of the bat species Daubenton - which is not one of the two out of sixteen bat species (pipistrelles and Plecotus auritus) that are commonly found in contact with humans. The infection of humans through the transmission of the bat lyssavirus, which has caused deaths in Europe and Australia in the past three decades, can be prevented by immunization. Therefore, the immunization of all bat handlers is strongly advised. This article clearly states the importance of such immunizations due to the fact that transmission of this type of rabies to humans has caused deaths. Background information on the symptoms, types and rates of transmission are not discussed and require additional research for those of us readers who do not possess the primary knowledge on this subject matter. Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system and most rabies viruses belong to genus Lyssavirus and the family Rhabdoviridae. They are bullet-shaped RNA viruses with an incubation period of 5 days to 1 year, with an average of 20-90 days. Susceptibility to infection is dependent upon several factors, including size of inoculum, size and depth of bite, and proximity to the CNS. The risk of contracting rabies from a bite wound is 5-80%, depending on incidence of rabies in endemic species or other terrestrial animals in the region.


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