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article imageRabies spread by vampire bats kill 38 people in Venezuela

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Aug 9, 2008 in Health
Bites from Vampire bats is believed to be behind the spread of Rabies disease in remote Venezuelan villages that has killed 38 people and affected hundreds.
Two researchers from University of California at Berkeley have revealed that Rabies spread by vampire bats is suspected in a rash of deaths among Warao Indians in several remote villages of Venezuela. According to the researchers, the symptoms of the disease are similar to rabies, although it has to be confirmed by laboratory investigations.
Anthropologist Charles Briggs and public health specialist Dr. Clara Mantini-Briggs who conducted the study said
It's a monster illness .All victims died within two to seven days from the onset of symptoms.
Attacks by Vampire bats have become more frequent in Venezuelan villages in recent years due to environmental degradation. Charles Rupprecht, chief of the rabies program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta told AP
Vampire bats are very adaptable. And when their roosts are disrupted or their normal prey grow scarce, Homo sapiens is a pretty easy meal.
Venezuelan authorities are distributing nets in remote villages to prevent Vampire bats biting sleeping humans.Those who are attacked by bats are asked to take vaccinations.
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