In the US, Rabies is mainly carried by bats, and bat bites usually can’t be felt!  Anybody who awakens in a room with a bat needs rabies shots.  Same if a bat is seen in a room with children, or adults who are mentally disabled or intoxicated (you can’t trust them to say if a bat flew at them).  Once rabies symptoms begin (1 week at the earliest), it’s too late — it’s the only disease that’s virtually 100% fatal.

You can also get rabies if bitten by wild animals (raccoons, coyotes, skunks, etc., but not rats or squirrels), or if bitten by a dog or cat in poor countries.  Never touch animals there, not even house pets.

The first sign of rabies may be numbness or tingling at the point of the bite.  Tapping on a muscle may cause it to clump up.  Then fever begins, with sore throat.  A key sign is panic at the sight of water, or if air is brushed across the face.  Eventually there are terrible muscle spasms of face and neck (a few patients develop quiet paralysis instead).  They then become agitated and crazy, go into coma, and die.  Only 2 children have ever survived, through special treatment that put them into artificial coma for a few weeks (others have died despite the same attempt).

Try Disney’s best-everย  movie Old Yeller (1957), not animated.ย  Parent groups advise caution due to emotion.

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