Published Date: 2012-03-12 18:33:39
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies, bat - Paraguay: (CP)
Archive Number: 20120312.1068527
RABIES, BAT - PARAGUAY: (CENTRAL PROVINCE)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 10 Mar 2012
Source: NTN24 [in Spanish, trans. Mod.TY, edited]
The appearance for the 1st time this year  of a rabies case in a bat that attacked a human sounded the alarm in Paraguay, where this disease has been eradicated since 2004, the National Antirabies Center this Saturday [10 Mar 2012] reported.
"Due to this event, we gave an alert to the health authorities so that they will take extreme care and give special attention to people attacked by animals, and specifically bats," said the center director, Miguel Castagnino.
The physician stated that the mammal -- which was captured by the family members of an elderly woman of 86 years who was attacked in her home in Lambare on the outskirts of Asuncion city -- tested positive for rabies and that the victim "is lucid, under control, and receiving prophylaxis [post exposure treatment]."
This is the 9th case of this type so far this year  in Paraguay, but just this time, the animal had rabies virus. Last year , 28 bat attacks were registered, according to Castagnino, who attributed these events to forced migration from their natural habitat due to deforestation.
"In 2011, there were 800 foci of forest fires in the entire country, and we warned that this might become urban," commented Castagnino, mentioning that these mammals have the habit of following water courses and migrate 15 km [9 miles] each night.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[The species of bat involved in this case is not mentioned. It may be the common vampire (_Desmodus rotundus_) or another species.
There was an outbreak of bovine rabies in Paraguay in 2004, most likely due to rabies virus transmission by these blood-feeding bats. That same year (2004), there was also a rabies outbreak in dogs in the country. Rabies eradication in all of Paraguay, as stated above, seems unlikely, but it may have been well controlled with no cases in dogs or cattle since 2004. Rabies eradication in vampire bats nationally would be very difficult. Virus transmission may continue sporadically at low levels in vampire bat populations without recognized cases in bovine and equine animals.
A map showing the location of Lambare in Central Province can be accessed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambar√©. - Mod.TY
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/1l5K.]