A cut and paste on a subject that ALL taxidermist should know something about.---Pro Taxidermist
WI Teen Rabies Victim Said 'Improving'
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
There have been only three documented cases of people surviving rabies after symptoms began.
In October, we learned about a case of a teen who was bitten by a rabid bat in Wisconsin in September, and admitted to hospital Oct. 18, 2004 with symptoms of rabies.
There has been virtually NO information about the teen and initial reports were misleading indicating the teen was a young boy.
Information is now beginning to emerge that indicates the teen, a young girl, is improving. This is amazing. Rabies is known to be fatal once symptoms begin.
Let us all continue to pray for this young girl and hope that she will be able to survive and live a normal life. A miracle is happening in Wisconsin and pray it will continue.
Rabies Victim Improving But Long-Term Effect Unknown
By Meg Jones
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
While a 15-year-old Fond du Lac girl infected with rabies is showing signs of improvement, doctors on Monday [8 Nov 2004] stressed that she's far from recovered. The girl was in grave condition last month [October 2004] at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa but recently has recognized her family, responded to commands to move her toes, and is intermittently alert. But, she remains on a respirator in intensive care.
"Although preliminary indications are that [her] condition will continue to improve, this is new territory," Rodney E. Willoughby, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Children's Hospital, said in a statement. "We are now in a wait-and-see mode. It will be quite some time before we know what [her] long-term prognosis will be," Willoughby said.
The girl, a student at St. Mary's Springs High School, was bitten by a bat on 12 Sep 2004, during a church service in Fond du Lac, but didn't seek immediate treatment. Rabies can be prevented with a vaccine before symptoms appear. But, it was too late for the girl, who was admitted to the hospital on 18 Oct 2004. Only 3 people in the world are known to have survived after the onset of rabies symptoms. Nearly all die within weeks of developing symptoms.
The last 2 cases of rabies in Wisconsin -- in 2000 and 1959 -- were acquired from bat bites. Rabies is a virus that infects the brain and peripheral nerves, causing severe brain disease and paralysis.
[It is generally considered that, once symptoms develop, rabies virus infection in humans is invariably fatal. Nonetheless, there are rare published accounts of partial and near-full recovery of children and adults: the most recent being "Madhusudana, S.N. et al. 2002. Partial recovery from rabies in a six-year-old girl. Int J Infect Dis. 6(1):85-6." We hope that the Wisconsin patient will join this rare band of survivors. - Mod.CP]
Rabies, human, bat - USA (WI) 20041021.2853
Rabies, bats - USA (multistate): alert 20040906.2491
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Ive always been fond of bats and encourage them on my property.I have a great number of fruit trees,as well as a creek and other small water deposits.I do not have any mosquito problems and attribute some of this to my bat colonies.I know they (bats) are known to be a carrier of Rabies,but am told by a biologist from University of WA that the chance of the bats in my colonies ever being infected is immeasureable.Im also told that the higher percentage of humans who contract Rabies do not contract it from bats or even other infected animals, but from unknown sources,ie they contracted Rabies with no contact whatsoever with a suspect animal.
I just want opinion here.I have been reassured time and time again that my doing work as a taxidermist poses no risk of infection,and no taxidermist has ever been infected by mounting an animal.Still it does sort of make me wonder.I have seen animals behaving strangely, like coons weaving down the middle of the sidewalk in broad daylight,and think to myself "if someone shot that and brought it to me to mount could I feel safe?"
First of all, the Biologist you talked to is a dangerous person to trust your life to. ALL bats are to be considered infected. Period.
No discussion on this matter. Check with the REAL research Scientists. They would call this person stupid and liable.
Second, YES! A taxidermist contracted rabies and died from a infected bobcat. Circa 1980's from South or North Dakota. Was listening to Paul Harvey at the time and later there was a story about it in the TRAPPER MAGAZINE, etc. Also, over the years, there have been SEVERAL different people contract this disease.
Third, Hell yes you can catch rabies from doing taxidermy work and a host of other diseases as well. You have got to be careful! Wear those gloves! ETC.....
It used to be said that the only illness/disease that you could catch from an animal was rabies. Now a days we know that that is not the case. There are countless illnesses and diseases tranmitted between different species (including animals to humans). Rabies, anthrax, CWD, bird flu, west nile, monkeypox are just a few of them. These illnesses/diseases have their own classification now: zoonosis.
I have gotten a bad fungus infection on my hand from an axis deer one year by not wearing gloves while I was skinning it. I was on antibiotics for over a year before it healed up completely. I have not touched another animal without gloves since then.
Rabies scares me the most though since it is so deadly. By the time you know what is going on and you show symptoms it is way too late for treatment. That's why they put taxidermists in the same risk group as veterinarians and wildlife biologist who work out in the field with wild live animals.