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By aaron hope
From Walnut Creek, CA
Feb 19, 2013
Staying Warm on South Face of Washington Column
The other day I was climbing in Yosemite (the aid route on Swan Slab), reached into jam the crack and accidently poked a bat in the face. Rightfully so, the poor guy was pissed and scratched and (I think) bit my hand. A nurse who overheard my infant-like scream came over and informed me that even a seemlingly insignfacnt brush with a bat in Yosemite is a serious deal and I needed a Rabies shot/vaccine right away. Overall, the chance of actual transmission is low, but if infected rabbies has a 100% fatality rate. So, I reluctantly cut our weekend trip short to get the shot, much to the dismay of my climbing partners and wallet.

Curious who else has been bitten/sctatched by a bat while climbing and if they did or did not get the shot?

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By CJC
Feb 19, 2013
I had the same thing happen to me and the high mortality rate of rabies convinced me to get the shots. sucked but what can you do? I was told if I had the bat they could test it but I didn't grab it.

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By Darby
From Snoqualmie, wa
Feb 19, 2013
Getting the shot was the right course of action, don't ever 2nd guess it.

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By todd w
Feb 19, 2013
A bat under a flake? Seems pretty normal to me. The bats with rabies would be acting strangely (e.g., flopping around on your lawn during the day).

All mammals can get rabies. Most people get rabies from cats, not bats.

The nurse freaked out because she bought into the same notion that everyone does.

How much did the shots cost?

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By todd w
Feb 19, 2013
CJC wrote:
I had the same thing happen to me and the high mortality rate of rabies convinced me to get the shots. sucked but what can you do? I was told if I had the bat they could test it but I didn't grab it.


Yes--the only way to determine if the animal had rabies is to kill it and examine part of its brain tissue.

Easy decision for a bat, not so easy when it's your neighbor's dog who bit you.

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By 1Eric Rhicard
Feb 19, 2013
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo
Got scratched by a cat in 1973 in Ankara Turkey as a kid. Looked hard for it but didn't find it so I got 14 shots, one a day in a circle around my abdomen, then a booster a week apart. It sucked. With the high mortality rate I would probably get one as well. Still love cats and bats.

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By aaron hope
From Walnut Creek, CA
Feb 19, 2013
Staying Warm on South Face of Washington Column
todd w wrote:
The bats with rabies would be acting strangely (e.g., flopping around on your lawn during the day).


Yea - that's what I thought also. But the park nurse said that the incubation time (time between transmission and symptoms) can take weeks even years in some animals. In these cases, the animal would show no obvious signs.

I haven't gotten the bill yet, but from what the doctor said the initial shot itself costs several hundred plus. The crappy thing is that you have to go to the ER to get the first one so that adds mucho $$$ to the overall bill. Then you have 5 follow-up shots over the next month.

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By Paul-B
Feb 19, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
PSH... is not 100% case fatality. There have been 6 recorded instances of people surviving rabies. Look up the Milwaukee protocol. Should've risked it.


Obviously joking. You did the right thing.

Also, the only way to determine if the animal has rabies is not a brain biopsy, common practice (in the case of neighbors dog as stated earlier) is to quarantine the dog, watch it for 10 days. If it shows no sign of infection, no treatment is warranted. This is because if the animal is in the infectious state of the disease it progresses very quickly, therefore 10 days is plenty to find out if the animal is infected. In the case of a wild animal that was killed a brain biopsy would be done, treatment would be initiated if animal was infected, if not, obviously no treatment. In your case as the animal was not captured, treatment will always be initiated. You absolutely did the right thing by getting the treatment, bats are the most common way for rabies to be spread in the US currently, and in the earlier infectious stage of the disease (high salivary titer of virus), you may not readily be able to notice the CNS symptoms of the virus.

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By Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Feb 19, 2013
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA...
I wouldn't second guess yourself, better safe than sorry right!

A long time ago my partner reached into a pocket and a bat bit or scratched his knuckle pretty good. He was freaked out but never went to the doctor. We were in high school and didn't know any better.

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By Dana Bartlett
From CT
Feb 19, 2013
todd w wrote:
A bat under a flake? Seems pretty normal to me. The bats with rabies would be acting strangely (e.g., flopping around on your lawn during the day). All mammals can get rabies. Most people get rabies from cats, not bats. The nurse freaked out because she bought into the same notion that everyone does. How much did the shots cost?


This is information is inaccurate. I hope you would never provide advice to somene who might have been exposed to rabies: that would be dangerous.
Bats are a common vector for rabies, most cases of rabies in the US are associated with exposure to bats (not cats or other domestic animals) and the rate of transmission of rabies from the bite of an infected animal is high.

There have been seven documented cases of survival, but for all intents and purposes rabies is uniformly fatal. If you get rabies, you die.
There are many mammals that do not get rabies or if they do, it is not transmitted.

What "notion" did the nurse buy into?

Accurate information about rabies is available on the website of your state health department, the CDC, eMedicine, PubMed, and many other places.

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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Feb 19, 2013
West Overhang
todd w wrote:
Most people get rabies from cats, not bats.


This is not true in the US. Wildlife represents the primary reservoir of rabies in the US and the primary source of rabies strains in confirmed cases. Among the 6,154 reported rabid animals in 2010 bats constituted 23.2% while cats were 4.9%. Raccoons were the highest at 36.5%.
avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf/...

Since 2011 there have only been 29 confirmed cases in the US, which includes those that were exposed in other countries.

p.s. Aaron, you did the right thing by getting the shot.

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By Dan Bachen
Feb 19, 2013
Just one shot? From what understand the treatment is a series of shots to pump you so full of antibodies (derived form horse serum) that any virus in your system is destroyed. They are expensive, I've looked into getting the pre-exposure series for research purposes but the cost has been prohibitive. As other people have stated earlier your probably going to be fine, at most bat test positive for rabies ~2% of the time (which could be positively biased by how the bats are selected to be tested). That being said rabies is almost always fatal, and a very bad way to go so is it worth risking it?

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By Nick Venechuk
From Golden, CO
Feb 19, 2013
I was bitten by a bat many, MANY years ago. This was before people knew about vaccines or, indeed, rabies. I was fortunate enough to avoid the disease however before long *OTHER* symptoms developed. Bloodlust, hatred of sunlight, inability to cross flowing water, and of course I no longer cast a reflection. The last one is not a problem as my hair is always immaculately slicked back.

Fortunately I no longer have to deal with crowds at my local crag because I only climb at night, and if I get really pumped I can just levitate myself past the crux. Also no need to ever rope up.

All in all I'd say I regret not getting the shot but as I'm technically UNdead I am pleased to have beaten the odds.

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By Paul-B
Feb 19, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
Dan Bachen wrote:
Just one shot? From what understand the treatment is a series of shots to pump you so full of antibodies (derived form horse serum) that any virus in your system is destroyed.



They give you a shot of horse anti serum around the bite, it will only neutralize rabies virus. All the other shots received are a post exposure prophylactic vaccine. The time course of rabies infection is so slow that your body can mount an immune response, become sensitized by the vaccine and clear the virus before it reaches the CNS.

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By Dan Bachen
Feb 19, 2013
@ Paul, Wasn't really stating that it would cure the common cold, but thanks for clarifying

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By Paul-B
Feb 19, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
Dan Bachen wrote:
@ Paul, Wasn't really stating that it would cure the common cold, but thanks for clarifying


Sorry, not was what I was trying to imply, I was just saying its one shot of antibodies, the rest is a vaccine.

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By CJC
Feb 19, 2013
Nick Venechuk wrote:
The last one is not a problem as my hair is always immaculately slicked back.


heh

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Feb 19, 2013
El Chorro
aaron hope wrote:
The other day I was climbing in Yosemite (the aid route on Swan Slab), reached into jam the crack and accidently poked a bat in the face. Rightfully so, the poor guy was pissed and scratched and (I think) bit my hand. A nurse who overheard my infant-like scream came over and informed me that even a seemlingly insignfacnt brush with a bat in Yosemite is a serious deal and I needed a Rabies shot/vaccine right away. Overall, the chance of actual transmission is low, but if infected rabbies has a 100% fatality rate. So, I reluctantly cut our weekend trip short to get the shot, much to the dismay of my climbing partners and wallet. Curious who else has been bitten/sctatched by a bat while climbing and if they did or did not get the shot?


You have to get the shot. No brainer. If you get rabies, you will die an agonising death.

You're lucky you got a single shot. Back in the day (and still in Thailand) you have to get a giant needle in the abdomen, mire than once.

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By aaron hope
From Walnut Creek, CA
Feb 19, 2013
Staying Warm on South Face of Washington Column
Yea, heard the old school shot in the abdomen was rough! But it's still not a walk in the park. I had to get 2 shots in the arm (close to where I was bit) and three in the arse. But I'll take that over rabies any day.

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By Rock Nuttool
Feb 19, 2013
Rock Nuttool
fossana wrote:
This is not true in the US. Wildlife represents the primary reservoir of rabies in the US and the primary source of rabies strains in confirmed cases. Among the 6,154 reported rabid animals in 2010 bats constituted 23.2% while cats were 4.9%. Raccoons were the highest at 36.5%. avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf/... Since 2011 there have only been 29 confirmed cases in the US, which includes those that were exposed in other countries. p.s. Aaron, you did the right thing by getting the shot.

In college, I saw a bat presentation from a bio prof who said that the rabies hype was due to the movie "Cujo", and that bats rarely carried. I've wondered because there seems to be differing opinion. It's good to see the actual stats.

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By PRRose
From Boulder
Feb 19, 2013
todd w wrote:
A bat under a flake? Seems pretty normal to me. The bats with rabies would be acting strangely (e.g., flopping around on your lawn during the day). All mammals can get rabies. Most people get rabies from cats, not bats. The nurse freaked out because she bought into the same notion that everyone does. How much did the shots cost?


From June 2001 through June 2011, there were 28 human cases of rabies in the United States. 20 were bat-related, 5 were dog-related, 1 was fox-related, 1 was raccoon-related, and one was of unknown origin.

Three out of the 28 survived.

Not all cases were due to bite or other contact with the vector--in 2004, an organ donor (who had been bitten by a rabid bat) and three recipients of his organs contracted and died from rabies.

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By mtoensing
From Boulder
Feb 19, 2013
Props to my home state show
You're supposed to get a shot if you get bit by a bat? Whoops..

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Feb 19, 2013
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Matt Toensing wrote:
You're supposed to get a shot if you get bit by a bat? Whoops..


Yes, you need to get shot. I love you Old Yeller!


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By Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Feb 19, 2013
There's a nearby hard man that was bitten by a bat
back in the '70's at Carderock, Maryland.
Unfortunately he had to get the old rabies shots,
through the stomach. . .

But he did survive!

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By TWK
Feb 20, 2013
I've been presented with two bats here in the Northern California, which we didn't handle and turned over to the county public health office for rabies testing.

One was being carried around the house by an unvaccinated pet cat. The other fell out of some rafters onto a front porch, and drew the attention of a house cat. Both bats tested positive for rabies. An individual bat carries rabies until proven otherwise.

Approximately 10% of all bats here carry rabies; many of those will exhibit aberrant behavior (not casting shadows?) and some will still appear to be normal.

People who don't maintain current rabies vaccine status on their cats piss me off on a regular basis, as I have to work with them.

If you get bit or scratched by any bat, see a competent physician and get the horse serum.

You may start casting shadows again, but you will be able to run really, really fast AND be very well hung.

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By immunizer
Feb 21, 2013
In Canal Zone in Clear Creek Canyon, there is a route called Batso Canal the beta for which advises "Beware the bat." I thought it was a joke, so I ignored it. There's a nice juggy pocket just off the ground that I promptly thrust my digits in when I first started the route. Imagine my surprise when a bat flew out - after pissing on my hand.

To my knowledge bat urine does not transmit rabies, so I skipped the vaccine and flailed my way up the route.

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