Bats in vacation cabin

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  #1  
Old 06-03-08, 06:42 PM
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Question Bats in vacation cabin

My wife and I needed rabies vaccinations (at great cost) after finding a bat in our rental cabin at a mountain resort in Maryland one night. We believe the attic was infested, though the owners were unaware. The owners didn't offer any compensation.

Can the owners be held liable for this cost? Would this be covered by their liability insurance? Or is this just accepted risk of sleeping in a mountain cabin?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-03-08, 09:51 PM
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why did you need rabies vac's? did either one of you get bitten or scratched? as for the cost unless you were renting from them it probably is your's to bear, I would just chalk it up to experience and go on.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
 
  #3  
Old 06-04-08, 03:06 AM
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I find bats in my mountain cabin. Never been bitten. Just catch and release or chase outdoors.

Bats seen outdoors during daytime likely have rabies. Actually, fewer than 2% of bats have rabies. If you were not bitten or scratched, then there should be no cause for alarm.

http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/types.html
 
  #4  
Old 06-04-08, 05:51 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

Actually, the situation with bats is different from other animals. In Maryland, 6-8% are infected, and popular misconceptions about the risk to a person are very common. From the CDC website:

"Bites by some animals, such as bats, can inflict minor injury and thus be difficult to detect."

The standard of care is for a person who wakes up from sleep to find a bat in the room to be vaccinated. This was our situation. There are many reasons for this, and there's a nice recent review on the topic in the MMWR last week.

My question is: Do the owners have an obligation to provide safe quarters?
 
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Old 06-04-08, 09:10 AM
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The standard of care is for a person who wakes up from sleep to find a bat in the room to be vaccinated.
I never heard of that before. I don't think you have a case here.

My question is: Do the owners have an obligation to provide safe quarters?
Only with the structure of the house or if they owned an animal that came in and bit you, otherwise, wild animals are a part of nature, the same as a tree that fell from the weather is considered an act of nature and no one is responsible.

You'd have to be aware that there's wildlife in a mountain cabin in the woods. You might consider staying in a hotel in a more populous area instead.
 
  #6  
Old 06-04-08, 12:15 PM
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I just googled around a bit for "bat bites". There is a lot of conflicting information out there but it seems that rabid bats have been responsible for some apparently arguable number of human rabies cases.

The number of infected bats is also debated with some suggesting as much as 5-10% while others say that number is skewed becasue the only bats tested are those suspected of being rabid.

At least one government site considers exposure simply being in the same room with a bat! Their (il)logic is that a person may have been bitten and not notice the bite.

In any case, why should the owner of the cabin be responsible? What if a mosquito got in through a hole in a screen the owner neglected to repair? What if it bit you and you got west nile fever? Would the owner be liable?

You weren't bitten and there was no indication the bat was rabid, correct? You chose the treatment as a precaution. Didn't your own health insurance pay?

BTW - Bats are good things to have around! Just not in the houose.
 
  #7  
Old 06-04-08, 12:34 PM
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Procedure depends on where you live. My sister had a bat in her house and the local health depatrment told her to catch it if possible, kill and put in freezer for them pick up and examine.
 
  #8  
Old 06-05-08, 10:44 PM
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that seems kida ingnorant, bats sometimes get disorented just like any wild animal around human habitation. killing it just because it is inside with out showing any signs of sickness is in my view a overreaction. just open doors and windows and leave it alone it will depart on its own without anyone getting hurt.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
 
  #9  
Old 06-06-08, 07:09 AM
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Here in our county, if a bat is found in your house you are required to be tested for rabies. Bite or not. And yes, some bat bites can be too small to detect. Some bat saliva has nerve deadening properties to it. That's why bats can bite cattle and not get bucked off. Hence, the reason for the mandated testing. Also here animal control comes out to remove the bat, then they have to kill it and send it in for testing.
 
  #10  
Old 06-25-08, 12:50 PM
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The droppings dry out, turn to dust, enter your lungs and can cause histoplasmosis.
 
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