Higher temperatures are alert for bat care

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When finding bats, dead or alive, the tip is to avoid contact. The alert is made by the Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS).

The arrival of warmer temperatures increases the appearance of bats in Curitiba. The guideline is to avoid any contact, because the animal may be infected with the rabies virus, and it is not possible to assess just by looking.

The first step is to isolate the place where the animal was found or to contain it with a bucket, if it is on the ground. Then, call 156, register the removal request, and wait for the contact of a technician from the Zoonosis Surveillance Unit (UVZ).

A team goes to the site, removes the bat, vaccines dogs and cats that may have had contact and gives guidance. Then, the bat is sent for examination.

In 2020, 245 bats have already been sent for testing. Eight of them tested positive for the rabies virus. The 3.26% index is within the control parameters, and does not represent an outbreak.

Some exams still await results. All bats analyzed were insectivores, which feed on insects, or frugivores, which feed on fruits. Hematophagous bats have not been identified in the capital for more than 20 years, they feed on blood.

Most bats are healthy and have an important biological role in insect control and seed dissemination, so they should not be killed, according to the Municipal Health Secretariat.

Even with the low incidence, it is important to monitor the circulation of the rabies virus, to prevent dogs and cats from being contaminated and, consequently, so that there is no transmission to humans.

In Curitiba, the last record of rabies in domestic animals was a case in felines in 2010, when a cat had contact with a bat. Since 1981 there has been no record of canine rabies. And since 1975, there have been no cases in humans.

Vaccine

For guardians of dogs and cats, the guideline is to keep them vaccinated against rabies. The vaccine must be made annually.

In addition to the private clinics, the vaccine for animals can be made at the headquarters of the Surveillance Unit in Zoonoses, at Rua Lodovico Kaminski, 1,381, CIC, from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 11:30 am and from 1 pm to 4:30 pm.

For humans, there is no indication of prior vaccination, except for professionals working in the area and handling animals, according to an assessment made by the SMS Epidemiology Center, based on the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

Vanessa Fernandes reporter with SMS information

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