Vampire bats blamed for Venezuela rabies outbreak
At least 38 Venezuelans have died as a result of a suspected outbreak of rabies spread by bites from vampire bats. Laboratory tests have yet to confirm the cause, but the symptoms point to rabies, say researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and other medical experts.
At least 38 Warao Indians have died since June 2007, 16 of them since the start of June this year, according to a report that the Berkeley researchers, an anthropologist and public health specialist, and indigenous leaders provided to Venezuelan officials last week.
All the victims died within two to seven days after the onset of symptoms. One village, Mukuboina, lost eight of its roughly 80 inhabitants – all of them children.
Health officials investigating the outbreak are now planning to distribute mosquito nets to prevent bat bites and send a medical boat to provide treatment in the remote villages on the Orinoco river delta.
Outbreaks of rabies spread by vampire bats are a problem in various tropical areas of South America, including Brazil and Peru. The common vampire bat, which feeds on mammals' blood, swoops down and generally approaches its sleeping prey on the ground. The bat then makes a small incision with its teeth, and an anticoagulant in its saliva keeps the blood flowing while it drinks the blood. Symptoms of rabies include fever, tingling in the feet followed by paralysis, and an extreme fear of water.
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...