Subtitled Rabies is Scary
So, as most of you remember from the bat blog the other day, there was a bat all up in my house on Saturday. And if you don't remember, you should re-read it. But I'm not linking to it, because it's, like, two blog entries ago, and you can probably find it on your own.
Well, a friend of mine had messaged me after I wrote it saying, "Hey, not to alarm you, but you can't always feel bat bites and you might need a rabies vaccine." Which freaked me out a little, but whatever. I called our doctors' afterhours lines. My line said we were probably ok, Rhi's line said get the vaccine.
So, I'm confused. So I call Mike, and do a lot of Googling, and after a lot of upset, we decide to wait until Monday, talk to our actual *doctors* and go from there.
My appointment was this morning. And my doctor was totally unconcerned. She said she doubted a bat would just bust up into my bed and bite me for no reason, and that she wouldn't advise the shots, because the chances are slim to none of rabies, anyways.
Whew, right? Not so fast.
Rhi's doctor calls, and he advises that we get the shots. Because if you do get rabies, you die. The end. And you don't die nicely, you die horribly. And, apparently, of the cases of rabies discovered that led to death, 26 of the 28 appear to have come from bats. 20 of those people had never mentioned being bitten by a bat in any way, shape, or form. Not even to their families and closest friends.
So I inquired how to get the shots, and Rhi's doctor said that they didn't carry them and to call the county health department.
I do, where they, of course, don't have them, or have any idea where you get them. OF COURSE. Because god forbid anyone know what to do if something serious as hell totally happens or anything. *rolls eyes*
But, they do put me in touch with a very nice woman who handles animal type issues for the county. And she tells me that about 1% of bats are rabid, that the fact that the bat went away from Shane and didn't just lie fluttering on the floor or go towards him is a good indicator of health. And also that rabies isn't in season, which makes no sense to me, but whatever. She advises not to get the vaccine.
Then Rhi's actual doctor calls me. (I know I said doctor before, but it was his nurse. Which probably makes sense if you have a pediatrician, as they seem to never want to get on the phone.) And he's still skeptical, but agrees that it is hard to get the shots. But he says he'll totally write a doctor's order for us, but he wants to run it by the state animal health person (which is probably not their actual title.) So he'll call back tomorrow and let me know what's up.
This entire thing has made me utterly confused. I have no idea what's happening or what to do, or if I have to make my poor three year old and I get a series of 5 shots over 14 days (no, the rabies shot isn't in the stomach anymore, and, yes, it's considered safe for preggos. And I'm not including Shane in this equation because he has flatly refused to even consider the vaccine anyways.)
But I do know this.
If you have a bat in your home ever, KILL IT AND SEND IT OFF TO BE TESTED. Don't crush its head because they have to test the brain. And then you won't have to go through a confusing nightmare of utter annoyance like we are.
I'll update you all on this tomorrow.
Rhi's doctor called and said the state guy can't call him back until tomorrow, but he's done his own research and believes that, according to information from the CDC, that we are at extremely low risk. However, it still all hinges on what the state dude says, and he will call tomorrow. Hence the update #1 part.