Minor Assessment Area
SE/B06/023: Transylvanian terrors
Woman standing
Back to St Emlyn's Reception

1. Should she be worried?

She has reason to be worried. A bat worker died in 2002 after being bitten by a bat with EBL2. EBL2 has only been reported in 4 bats in the UK. These have all been Daubenton's bats, which tend to hunt over water.

2. What causes rabies?

Rabies is caused by several Lyssaviruses, including the European Bat Lyssaviruses: EBL1 and EBL2.

3. Is the fact that she is asymptomatic after 6 weeks enough to reassure her?

Not necessarily: the incubation period ranges from 3-12 weeks, generally, but may be over a year.

4. What should you do?

Contact the Health Protection Agency Virus Reference Department, Colindale, London (020 8200 4400) or the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (020 8200 6868), or in Scotland, the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (0141 300 1100), or in Northern Ireland, the Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital (028 9032 9241).

5. What is likely to be the treatment?

Human Rabies Immunoglobulin (HRIG) and post exposure prophylaxis with 5 doses of rabies vaccine. This was effective in the case of a member of the public was bitten by an EBL2 positive bat in Lancashire in 2004.