What if you are bitten by a bat?

Bats are not aggressive mammals, thus they rarely bite but one cannot eliminate the possibility of being bitten by a bat. A bat’s bite is not painful making it easy to go unnoticed in most cases.

What can lead to being bitten by a bat?

Bats do not attack people. Most of them are insectivorous and will come out during the night to feed on the night hovering insects. So when you see bats in your house or room, it definitely knows that you are there and has no intention of attacking anyone. It will even swoop very close to you but it is only after that mosquito that wants to feed on you.

A bat, in most cases, will bite you if you pick it with your bare hands. Whether if it is injured or has just fallen down, never ever pick up a bat with bare hands because it might bite in defense. Also, if a bat accidentally lands on you, just brush it off swiftly. If you overreact, it might bite to defend itself. Generally, a bat will bite when it is sick, threatened or trapped.

How does a bat bite look like?

It is almost impossible to notice a bite from a bat due to the nature of their teeth. They are usually small in size and can either scratch or puncture the skin, whose result is a resemblance of a pin prick, if it is discoverable at all.

What to do if bitten by a bat.

Bats are normally associated with the spreading of the fatal viral disease, rabies. If bitten, one is advised to seek medical advice as soon as possible. If possible, the bat that bit you is captured and tested for rabies; otherwise, procedural medication for rabies is administered right away as a precaution.

First, the wounded part or the perceived bitten area is thoroughly washed with soap and water to remove any virus around the skin and tissues. The wound is then closed and treated with an antibiotic to prevent further wound infection. The person bitten is then immediately scheduled for active and passive immunizations for rabies. Several injections of immunoglobulin are administered at the bitten area and into the muscle. The immunoglobulin binds the rabies virus hence disabling them. Rabies vaccine is also administered, into the shoulder muscle, with three others scheduled within a fortnight period. This vaccine usually stimulates the body to produce its own immunoglobulin to kill the rabies virus.

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