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Researchers bust bat rabies stereotype
Date:1/31/2011

nters of Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S for testing. They also reviewed the literature on reported rabies in multiple bat species in North America covering the past 56 years, which included 65,096 bats.

Bats, along with other species including foxes, skunks and raccoons, are considered reservoirs for the disease. Rabies is passed from bat to bat at a rate that keeps the virus in the population, but rarely fast enough to eradicate the bat population or slow enough to result in the demise of the virus.

"Since the background rabies rate in bats is low, less than one percent, people should focus more on the ecosystem services they provide without worrying that every other bat has rabies. This is especially important right now because bats are facing some heavy threats, like wind turbines and white nose syndrome," says Klug.

"With that said, healthy bats normally don't come in contact with people, so those that do are more likely to be sick, so we're not encouraging people to go out and handle them."


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Contact: Leanne Yohemas
leanne.yohemas@ucalgary.ca
403-540-6552
University of Calgary
Source:Eurekalert  

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