Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rabies, Baby

Oh boy. What a trying few days it's been.

We had a bat in our house early Monday morning. I woke up to my husband getting out of bed after hearing the dog barking and the cat crying (I heard neither of these things, but despite my baby-listening-ears, I am still a pretty deep sleeper.) He said he saw a bat go down the stairs, and then it swooped back up and went into Baby J's room and flew around before disappearing (we still haven't found it.) Thus began the frantic "Should Baby J get rabies shots" theme of the week.

I talked to the lovely people at Bat Conservation International who told me to call my state health department, who told me that I should get the series of shots for the little one. This, all because I read an article in Parents magazine that said that any time a child in unattended in a room where a bat has been spotted, he should get the shots.

Now, I have been super stressed out because rabies is a serious deal. It is fatal if you don't catch it soon enough. According to the doc I talked to today, there has only been one reported case worldwide in recent history (sorry this is not hyperlinked, but I'm not about to dive back into the crazy world of rabies websites) where a person has contracted rabies and lived once symptoms started to show.

There is a whole lot of a deal about this that I could write a book on, but suffice it to say that we went to our local emergency clinic (because regular doctors' offices don't carry the vaccine) to get the shots for Baby J, but the doctor didn't think it was necessary. Check with DH and my mom and they both were cool. My friend Jen said her friend Susan, who knows lots and lots about bats and has a one-year-old daughter, said if she had seen a bat flying around her daughter's room, she wouldn't be worried either.

I know there may be a case of better-safe-than-sorry going on and in this case we're not being better-safe, but I really don't think we'll be sorry. Baby J doesn't have any puncture marks, he didn't wake up crying (which I really think he would have if he had been bitten.) So does this guy: ""People sometimes mistakenly believe you couldn't feel a bat bite," French said.
"I've had lots of bat bites, and they hurt. They feel like sharp needle jabs." So...I think we're okay for now.

Still, this guy is not my friend.

No comments: