ATLANTA, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Bats are a primary source of U.S. human rabies but a 19-year-old man is the first human to die from a vampire bat bite, health officials say.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report says the man died of rabies in Louisiana last year after being bitten by a vampire bat in his home in Michoacan, Mexico.
“This case represents the first reported human death from a vampire bat rabies virus variant in the United States,” the report says. “Public health officials should increase awareness of the risk for rabies after bat and other wildlife exposures.”
Doctors caring for patients with acute progressive encephalitis should consider rabies in the differential diagnosis and institute early infection control measures, health officials say.