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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Does contact with a bat cause rabies infection?

A year and a half ago, a couple friends and I were exploring an abandoned building, and when we were about to enter an open-air underground cement staircase, a bat started fluttering around inside the staircase. My friends rushed up the stairs and I was knocked over at the tops of the steps while and I remember looking up as the bat flew out of the staircase. I don t remember being bit, but I recall being at least somewhat close to the bat as it flew out. Should I be worried about rabies? I have diagnosed OCD, if this question is ridiculous
Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi & Welcome.

I have gone through your history and I can understand your concerns.
At the outset I would say there's nothing to worry.

Most bats don not have rabies. For example, even among bats submitted for rabies testing because they could be captured, were obviously weak or sick, or unable to fly, or had been captured by a cat, only about 6% had rabies.

People can t get rabies just from seeing a bat in an abandoned building, caves, at summer camp, or from a distance while it is flying.

In addition, people can not get rabies from having contact with bat guano (feces), blood, or urine, or from touching a bat on its fur.

Since one and a half year has passed since you were accidentally exposed to the flying bat without actual being bitten, it is not possible that you might have acquired the infection.

Meanwhile, I recommend you to consult a psychiatrist for proper treatment of OCD.

Hope I tried my best to convince.
Best regards!

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