What diseases do bats carry?

Bats are some of the scariest looking creatures on earth. Because of such stories as Dracula, bats have become one of the most feared animals on the planet. Truthfully, it doesn’t take stories like Dracula to make these critters scary. Their sharp teeth and ugly looks make them appear like flying rats, and that is a scary proposition.

As scary as bats appear, the scariest part about them is that they are a veritable flying animal of horrific diseases that are known to infect humans. In fact, there are over 60 diseases that bats are known to carry that can be dangerous, if not outright lethal to human beings. Bats actually carry more diseases dangerous to humans than any other species of rodents on earth. This is their bite is truly much more dangerous than their bark.

One of the most common illnesses that bats carry are cyst-causing tapeworms. These parasites burrow into a person’s bloodstream and then work their way to the intestinal tract where they feed off the host and reproduce. This can be very dangerous to the host. Interestingly enough, avian flu is also transmitted by bats. Despite the fact that these animals are not birds, they can still carry this disease, and transmit it to men and women as well as other animals. It is often not the avian flu affecting the humans directly, but the illness they cause when a person eats a bird infected with the disease.

The most common illness that is associated with bats is rabies. This is carried by so many rodents, but bats are some of the most frequent carriers of the illness. Histoplasmosis is another disease that bats are frequently known to carry. This illness directly affects the lungs, but if untreated will eventually cause the collapse of several other organs and their systems. To become infected with this illness, one does not even have to come in direct contact with a bat. Guano, or bat feces, becomes a powder when touched, and the parasites become airborne when this occurs. A person breathes them in and becomes infected.

Most of the illnesses that bats carry either affect their respiratory system or digestive tracts. Obviously these are two of the most important systems in the body, and so any disruption of either can cause severe problems to the person who is infected. For this reason it is important to see a doctor right away if you come in contact with a bat, even if you do not feel sick.

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