Bats : safety and risk management at camp
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Bats : safety and risk management at camp

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      The United States is home to more than 40 varieties of bats. They eat insects harmful to agriculture, including night flying beetles and moths. However, some bats may be infected by and transmit the rabies virus. Most of the recent human rabies cases in the United States have been caused by rabies viruses associated with bats. Potential exposures to bats do occur, sometimes requiring individuals to undergo rabies post-exposure prophylaxis, i.e., rabies vaccinations. Keep in mind, however, that more than 11 million children and adults engage in camp experiences each year in the United States. Few individuals will ever be exposed to a rabies-suspect animal or need medical intervention due to a potential exposure while camping. In the United States, there have been no human rabies deaths occurring as a result of a bat exposure in a camp setting. Awareness of the facts about bats and rabies can help protect yourself and your campers. This information may also promote a better understanding of bats, their contributions to the environment, and what you can do to safeguard against bat-transmitted disease.
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