ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) A 6-year-old boy from Florida died of rabies he contracted after being scratched by an infected bat.
Ryker Roque's father told NBC that the boy died Sunday at an Orlando hospital.
Father Henry Roque said he had found a sick bat, put it in a bucket and told his son not to touch it, but he did and scratched it.
He said he washed the wound thoroughly but did not take the child to the hospital because he cried when he was told he would get vaccinations. About a week later, the child developed numb fingers and a headache and his parents took him to a hospital to receive treatment.
Rage is almost always fatal once symptoms develop. A vaccine administered after a wound but before symptoms almost always prevents the disease.
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2 rabid bats recently discovered in St. Joseph County
Jan . 11, 2018
Two rabid bats were recently discovered in St. Joseph County, but state officials say hoosiers can protect their family and pets by taking some common sense precautions.
Rabies is a viral disease that infects the brain and spinal cord of mammals, including humans. It is almost always fatal if it is not treated.
If you are exposed to rabies, the disease can be prevented with vaccines before the symptoms appear.
Dr. Sandra Norman, veterinarian of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, recommends the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure of rabies to humans and animals:
– Avoid contact with wild animals (not just bats) at all times . Do not feed or handle wild animals, and secure trash and pet food in animal-proof containers. Cover the openings in attics and chimneys and other entry points in the home that may invite unwanted visitors.
– Wild animals are usually active at night and avoid contact with people. Daytime contact with humans is unusual and should be considered suspiciously.
– Indiana law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets 3 months of age and older be vaccinated against rabies by an accredited and accredited veterinarian. Pets must be kept close to home, since animals that move freely have a higher risk of exposure to the disease.
– If your pet is bitten or attacked by a wild animal, contact your veterinarian and local animal control. Your pet will need a booster if it is determined that the animal is rabid.
– If you or someone in your family is bitten or scratched by a wild or lost animal or pet, try to limit or kill the animal or determine the owner of the pet (if this can be done without risk of further injury). Wear leather or latex gloves when handling all animals with possible exposure (live or dead).
– Wash the wound immediately with soap and water. Call your doctor immediately to determine the treatment and be sure to report the bite to the local department of health and animal control.
For more information on prevention and safety against rabies, visit the Indiana Animal Health Board online at www.boah.in.gov.