Skip to comments.Rabies Shots Urged for 950 Girl Scouts
Posted on 08/06/2006 8:33:56 AM PDT by nuconvert
Rabies shots urged for 950 Girl Scouts
LEESBURG, Va. - Officials are recommending that nearly 1,000 Girl Scouts who may have been exposed to rabies at a Northern Virginia camp consider getting protective vaccinations.
There is only a small chance that any of the girls were infected by bats that were found in some of the sleeping shelters at Camp Potomac Woods, Loudoun County officials said.
But authorities are erring on the side of caution because around 1 percent of bats carry rabies, a viral disease that is incurable once symptoms appear. Bats can bite children in their sleep without waking them.
"We think the risk is extremely small, but we can't say there is no risk," Loudoun County Health Department Director David Goodfriend said. "Really, at the end of the day, it's the parents' decision of what level of risk they are willing to bear."
Last month, the mother of a girl who had attended the camp contacted the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital. The girl had told her mother the shelter she slept in had bats living under the eaves.
Five bats subsequently caught at the camp's shelters tested negative for rabies. But officials soon learned that a few girls apparently touched a bat captured by a counselor, and some girls had not used protective netting around their beds while they slept at night.
The Loudoun health department sent letters to the parents of around 950 girls who attended the camp through July 22. Most of those contacted have declined to get the vaccine.
At least 14 girls have begun receiving the monthlong series of shots, local officials said. They include the children authorities believe were most likely to have come in contact with a bat.
The vaccine consists of six to nine shots, which can cost up to $2,000. The Girl Scouts organization is covering the cost of the shots.
Camp officials have installed screens on windows, doors and eaves in all 54 of the camp's shelters since the incident.
Smart preventative medicine, IMO. Rabies is nothing to take a chance with.
these parents should file lawsuits against the girl scout organization and the facility that let this happen--how frightening. it can take up to 9 mos for rabies to show up (i have also heard as long as 6 years) and when it does you are dead.
i thought the rule is if a child or incapacitated adult are sleeping in the same room in which a bat is found, the assumption is that they were exposed and should be treated because the bites are so tiny. i would imagine that is why the health dept is telling the parents to get shots for the kids. plus i have read you can actually get rabies from bat droppings and when bats are living in the eaves of these cabins....unreal.
the treatments are scary enough and carry their own risks.
i have had two scares with this disease in my own life and i do not envy these parents and kids.....they should be worried.
Place your bets on how many of the 950 will have complications or side effects from the rabies vaccine.
American girls will probably receive psycho-therapy for this, until they admit that they hate their fathers for sending them to Girl Scout camp. Only then will they be cured.
What is going on with this rabies kick? China is killing dogs by the trainload. Trying to burn off adrenaline since the Bird Flu epidemic didn't materialize?
The counselor caught a bat and had a bunch of girls touch it? That was bright.
Actually, I'd be much more worried about the bats catching cooties.
I don't get it... why did you post pictures of the James Carville-Mary Matalin honeymoon?
Being vaccinated because they touched a *captured* bat? Asinine. For being in the same building as bats? Asinine.
Prophylactic vaccination is recommended if one handles a *dying* (sick) bat, or has physical contact with an *unprovoked* bat.
>>>>these parents should file lawsuits against the girl scout organization and the facility that let this happen-
File lawsuits? The girls went CAMPING. Lawsuit for what?
That was a cool movie!
NO... wait: that looks like CLAWS!
But he REALLY wanted them to touch something else!
For a week his dad would come and pick him up near the end of the school day. The poor kid was just about in tears every time they called for him to report to the office for dismissal.
I don't have a lot of experience with bats. But it seems to me that it would be hard to catch one. An easy to catch bat that isn't struggling, biting, etc. may be more likely to be sick.
We have bats around here and last summer one was flying over my kids' heads' while they swam in our pool, in the middle of the day. It landed on a low leaf and we watched it awhile. A couple of days later, it turned up dead in the pool skimmer. I have learned since then that such unusual behavior on the part of a bat likely indicates sickness.
Having been pursued by Girl Scouts at cookie time, I suggest that a rabies vaccine should be mandatory for all Girl Scouts everywhere..
Not really. Bats are small enough that you may not even know if you get bitten. I found that out when I was a little kid, vacationing in NY at my father's (how small they are, not that I got bitten - I've heard that you might not notice). One morning I told him that there was something in my room that had been flying around, but he assured me that it was a bad dream. Well, I was determined to find it, and when I did, I called him in and he freaked out. The little critter was in the curtains, and about the size of a modern flip phone.
The problem is that once you show symptoms of rabies, it's too late to do anything about it. Much better to be safe than sorry. I recall reading here not too long ago about a boy who died of rabies.
What sort of idiots are they hiring for counselors?
"Oh look, I caught a bat. Who wants to touch it?"
Lol. That was my thought too. What an idiot
There are literally millions of Mexican Free-tail bats in colonies all around my area. They are great to have around, because they eat their weight in mosquitoes every night.
I am also in an area with periodic rabies outbreaks.
I was taught from an early age, if you can touch a bat, it is probably sick. If you touch one and you cannot have it tested for rabies, then you will be getting rabies vaccine shots.
I don't understand the shots if you are not bitten or come into contact with the saliva of a bat. CYA if you ask me.
By the time any one of those girls exhibits symptoms of rabies, it will be too late. Anyone with symptomatic rabies will die.
If the counsellor was able to catch the bat, it was almost certainly sick.
Depends on whether he whacked it with a broom or whatever and it was captured that way.
Oh blech. I've seen a college student get that rabies series after being around a rabid horse (horse bitten by a coyote or something).
Those injections are painful. And given in the abdomen. They can leave a reddened area that stays for several days. I've forgotten how many injections are in the series but it's several.
What a nightmare for these girls, leaders and the families. I wouldn't know what to do. sheesh.
Bat bites can be very tiny and almost unnoticeable. You can be bit and not even wake up. This undoubtedly CYA but it is still a good idea.
And my sympathy to the girls. Do you still have to get them in the stomach I wonder?
Well if that is the case, shouldn't we all just get rabies shots, in case bats have bitten us and we didn't even notice? You can never be too careful!
I hope not :(
Me too. Even after over twenty years the memory still makes me cringe.
A teenage boy just died here in Houston of rabies. He awoke and found a dead bat in his room or maybe in his bed, I can't remember the details. Terrible tragedy but it could have been avoided with shots.
I thought the incubation period for rabies was two weeks.
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