CDC Warns Against Increase in Human Rabies Cases Linked to Bats

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week issued a warning raising awareness of risks of rabies from bats in the U.S. after three people, including one child, died from rabies between late September and early November 2021. The three cases, detailed in this week’s CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), bring the total number of rabies cases in 2021 to five compared to no reported cases in people during 2019 and 2020.

Three people, one each in Idaho, Illinois, and Texas, were confirmed to have rabies after direct contact with bats in or around their homes and died. Two of the cases were considered avoidable exposures, and none of the three individuals that died received post-exposure prophylaxis shots that can prevent rabies from developing if received before symptoms begin.

The CDC urges people to take preventive measures to avoid or lessen the risk of infection with rabies, including avoiding direct contact with bats.

Additional information is available here.