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Thread: Bat rabies

  1. #1

    Bat rabies

    Hello everyone, this is my first post on the forum. However, I have read over multiple posts and am seeking some reassurance through this very difficult time. I was standing in my garage last night and felt a pin prick on one of my toes. I was wearing open toed sandals and didn't look down immediately to see the source of the incident due to the fact that I was sending a text message. I'm now convinced that the possibility exists that a bat bit me and that I've contracted rabies. I have examined the are thoroughly to look for the markings, but can't find any ascertainable bite marks. However, the toe has displayed some throbbing pain and burning since the time of the incident. To make matters worse, I found a story out of British Columbia in which a man died from rabies after having a bat run into his palm. The bat didn't bite the guy or scratch the guy, but simply hit the palm of his hand while he was out walking in the woods. I have never witnessed a bat before on my property, there has been no confirmed cases of rabies in my state over the past eleven years (the only records that I could find go back to 2009, but I do remember a man dying in my general area from the disease around 2003/2004), and I am attempting to reassure myself that there's numerous other probabilities that could have caused the sensation. However, I just can't shake the sensation that it was a bat and that I'm well on my way to a horrible death at the current moment. The thought has even crossed my mind that I should start preparing for such an incident.
    Pros of my situation:
    1. If it was a bat, I would have felt the animal land on my toe and would have been alerted to the sensation of a foreign object present. Bats have fur and such a thing would have definitely been felt. The toe in question is the one next to the little toe and the bat would have had to either land on the garage floor or the narrow strip of the shoe sole in front of the toe to accomplish the bite. I have practiced numerous simulations today concerning the incident in the spot that it occurred and I would like to think that I would have been aware that such a thing had occurred.
    2. I didn't physically see a bat and virtually all known rabies cases in America over the past eleven years have been linked with direct contact with the animal in question. I checked under my vehicle, in the shrubbery (my garage is open air), and other crevices
    3. The toes are one of the best places to be bit by a rabid animal due to the fact that they are the furthest from the brain. I know a person who knows a guy that got bit by a rabid raccoon twenty years ago or so, refused the shots, and never contracted the disease. From my understanding, not everyone automatically catches rabies from a rabid animal bite due to things such a bite penetration, distance from brain, etc.

    Cons of my situation:
    1. The sensation that I felt was textbook as to what many describe a bat bite feels like and the subsequent pain is consistent with the pulsating sensation most often associated with such bites.
    2. I live in a warmer climate state and bats are fairly common. While I have never encountered any on my property, they are certainly present in the local area and not just an anomaly.

    I know that I've been extremely long winded on this post, but I'm scared to death. I am almost afraid to go outside now and have been on the verge of panicking all day long. If this continues, I'm going to have to check myself into some type of facility and am concerned about what my mental state will be moving forward. Please reassure me that all of this is simply in my head and that such a sensation most likely didn't come from being bit by a rabid bat.

  2. #2

    Re: Bat rabies

    Call your health department and explain what happened to their rabies expert. They should have protocols and can tell you what to do.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bat rabies

    I completely disagree. You didn’t see a bat. You felt a sensation on your toe. Why on Earth it would be a bat? There is no logic or rational behind your fear whatsoever.

    but that’s what anxiety is...irrational fear. So what are you doing to treat your anxiety?
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  4. #4
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    Re: Bat rabies

    Agreed, don't go calling the authorities over an imaginary bat encounter. It'd waste their time, reinforce your fears and also make you look a bit stupid.

    You're stronger than this!
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  5. #5

    Re: Bat rabies

    I originally answered late at night and in the interests of brevity my intentions weren't clear. Here's the long version:

    1) Just to get it out of the way, I'm not comfortable telling someone they definitely haven't been exposed to a lethal disease. A quick call to the OP's health department would provide a reality-based answer from a local expert. It's one of the few free things we get in the US's crappy healthcare system.

    2) I've had OCD my whole life and rabies anxiety for the last few months. A few times I've gotten worked into a tizzy over some incident like the OP reports, and I've spent hours ruminating and Googling only to decide I can't make a life-or-death decision based on "something I read on the internet." Getting a reality check from a local expert who happened to be friendly and understanding when I admitted my struggles with anxiety, and who was more than willing to discuss what is considered a real potential rabies exposure and what is a figment of my fevered imagination, has gone a long way toward giving me confidence in classifying my perceived exposures as products of anxiety that I need to overcome.

    So I stand by my original advice, with the qualifications that the OP should commit beforehand to following the official recommendations -- if they in fact tell you not to worry, don't call ten more health departments "just to be sure" and don't ruminate and Google about it the rest of the day. And use their advice as a baseline to decide whether any future triggers are genuine concerns or just products of anxiety.

  6. #6
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    Re: Bat rabies

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueIris View Post
    Agreed, don't go calling the authorities over an imaginary bat encounter. It'd waste their time, reinforce your fears and also make you look a bit stupid.

    You're stronger than this!
    Agreed.... Wouldn't contact the authorities on this one

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  7. #7

    Re: Bat rabies

    I want to thank everyone for the replies. I actually had the same sensation occur on my leg yesterday (while wearing blue jeans) and there wasn't any type of sinister creature in the area, I'm almost starting to think that I'm having nerve problems. I'm feeling much better about the situation at the current moment, the toe still has felt weird at times and the the same sensation has also been felt in the toe next to the one in question. I have simulated the experience so many times now that I feel as I can write a dissertation on the issue. If I was bit by a bat, the bat would have basically been flying extremely low on the ground, would have had to mount and rubber sole in front of my toe, and would have had to bend down to accomplish the mission. The bat simply couldn't have ran into the toe due to the fact that the rubber sole is curved upwards and I think that I would have definitely felt something hitting the spot. Additionally, I was standing in front of my vehicle and the bat would have had to have been under the vehicle to hit the proper trajectory to accomplish the bite. The statistics are certainly on my side, but I'm still not to the point yet of being completely in a good state about the situation. I agree that my local health department would laugh if I told them such a situation due to the fact that I never witnessed the animal. I researched more about the Canadian case that I mentioned in my original post and the man in question was completely aware of the fact that the bat had hit his palm while he was walking.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Bat rabies

    Glad you were able to rationalize this yourself, Josh!
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