3 fatal rabies cases in U.S. suggest public underestimates infection risks

One day last fall, a man in his 80s living in Lake County, Ill., woke up to find a bat on his neck. He caught the bat and turned it in to the health department for testing, which revealed the bat had rabies. The man was offered rabies treatment — but refused.

“There were multiple hours of consultation over several weeks between the health department and this individual about the seriousness of his exposure, that the bat had tested positive and that vaccines were the only thing that would be guaranteed to save his life,” said Ryan Wallace, a veterinary medical officer and the lead of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s rabies epidemiology team. “He declined.”

Read the rest…