Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm Going Batty

Literally ...

This morning at 5am, Dan and I were awakened to the our cats running frantically up and down the hallway outside of our master bedroom that leads to the boys bedroom. What were they doing -- oh, chasing a BAT!

We are having our house painted and the windows upstairs were cracked let the paint dry. We guess it must have flown in one of the open windows.

Noel and Tanner were zipped into their crib tents, but Hayden was not.

Dan, my hero, was able to capture the bat in under 3 minutes, but once he got outside, it flew away. It wasn't until the bat was long gone that we began to realize, "Oh crap! We need to test that bat for rabies!"

CDC protocol when a bat is found in a room when people were sleeping, especially children, is to get the five shot post-exposure rabies vaccination series.

So Hayden, Dan, and I would have to get these treatments. I have calls into the pediatrician, our family doctor, our insurance company, and the health department. Why they haven't yet to return my frantic phone messages I left at 5:30am, I have no idea!

I know the chance is so small that it (1) the bat had rabies; and (2) had contact with Hayden, Dan, or myself, but do I take that risk?

Here is a quote from the CDC information site on rabies exposure that made the hair on my neck stand up:
"In February 1995, the aunt of a 4-year-old girl was awakened by the sounds of a bat in the room where the child was sleeping. The child did not wake up until the bat was captured, killed, and discarded. The girl reported no bite, and no evidence of a bite wound was found when she was examined. One month later the child became sick and died of rabies. The dead bat was recovered from the yard and tested--it had rabies. This case demonstrates that this child's infection with rabies was most likely the result of a bat bite. Children sleep heavily and may not awaken from the presence of a small bat. A bat bite can be superficial and not easily noticed. Remember, in situations in which a bat is physically present and you cannot reasonably rule out having been bitten, safely capture the bat for rabies testing and seek medical attention immediately."

I'm going to trust the advice my doctors give me on what to do, but honestly, I don't know if I can play games of chance and risk with my children.

What would you do? Would you give the shot series to your 2.5 year old child? Would you do the shots yourself? Would you make your stubborn husband take the shot series?

1 comment:

Hogue Family said...

First I would ask if there is a blood test that can detect rabies. If not I would ask if there were any repercussions of having the shots if you don't have rabies. If not, take the shots, regardless of whether or not insurance would pay. Better safe than sorry, and once the shots are over, more than likely all will be forgotten as far as the hurt of the shots. I have a similar problem... picked a tick off Chloe a couple of days ago, she has no symptoms of lime or the other diseases associated with ticks. Do I put her thru 10 days of antibiotics just in case?