CDC: Seek Doctor if Bitten by Wildlife

ATLANTA, April 8 (UPI) — Testing by U.S. health officials found samples of a man revealed a rabies virus variant associated with bats, indicating a need for increased public awareness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, said that after a 43-year-old man in Indiana died of rabies in October 2009, pathologists expressed concern about the biosafety risks of doing an autopsy on a suspected human rabies patient, so staff from the CDC went to Kentucky to do the procedure.

Because of the rabies virus variant linked to bats, CDC officials said the public needs to know that there is a need to seek medical attention following animal bites — particularly from bats — or other potential rabies virus exposures.

In response to the situation, CDC officials have produced recommendations they say can help those conducting autopsies stay safe when human rabies is suspected or confirmed.

“These new recommendations can help those performing autopsies stay safe and increase opportunities to diagnose rabies and learn more about the disease, which can lead to improved prevention and control efforts,” the report said.

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