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Public Health News for August 2011

Contents ...    
  How can I tell if a bat has rabies?   What should I do if exposed?   How can I safely capture a bat?  
  Obesity among low-income Preschool Children   WIC Obesity Rates   WIC Updates  

Bats, Rabies, and Public Health

bats can have rabies
Bats have small needle- like teeth. A bite may not be detectable.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), most bats do not have rabies. They estimate that about 6% of bats sent in for testing, test positive for rabies. However, most of the recent human rabies cases have been caused by rabies virus from bats.

Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goal of public health is:

A few people die of rabies each year in the U.S. because they do not rec-ognize the risk of rabies from the bite of a wild animal or because they do not realize they have been bitten. A case study presented in Bats and Rabies, A Public Health Guide, states:

“In February of 1995, the aunt of a 4-year old girl was awakened by the sounds of a bat in the room where the child was sleeping. The child did not wake up until the bat was captured, killed, and discarded. The girl reported no bite, and no evidence of a bite wound was found when she was examined. One month later the child became sick and died of rabies. The dead bat was recovered from the yard and tested - it had rabies."

This case demonstrates several points:

Remember, in situations in which a bat is physically present and you cannot reasonably rule out having been bitten, safely capture the bat for rabies testing and seek medical attention immediately.”

Call Cooper County Public Health Center at 660-882-2626 and ask for Kim Wiemholt or Casey Johnson for assistance in having a bat submitted for testing.

We do not accept live bats.

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How Can I Tell If a Bat Has Rabies?

bats can have rabies
If you are bitten by a bat, get medical ad-vice immediately.

Bats are beneficial animals to our environment. They eat insects, including agricultural pests. It is estimated that only about 1% of the bat population has rabies at any given time. If you have an ex-posure, however, you cannot assume that the bat is not rabid. There have been bats that have tested positive for rabies in Howard, Cooper, and Boone counties in the past. Rabies can be confirmed only by laboratory testing. If you notice:

What Should I do If I Come in Contact with a Bat?

If you are bitten by a bat - or if infectious material (such as saliva) from a bat gets into your eyes, nose, mouth or a wound:

“If exposed to a bat, whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a laboratory for rabies testing.”

People usually know when they have been bitten by a bat. However, because bats have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen, there are situations in which you should seek medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound.

How Can I Safely Capture a Bat In My Home?

If a bat is present in your home and you cannot rule out the possibility of exposure, use precautions to capture the bat safely. You will need:

  1. When the bat lands, approach it slowly, while wearing the gloves, and place the box or coffee can over it.
  2. Slide the cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside.
  3. Tape the cardboard to the container securely.
  4. If exposure has occurred and the bat is to be sent for testing, you may place the bat in the freezer for 24 hours to kill it. Then, make arrangements with the health department to submit the bat for testing.
  5. If a bat is in your home and you are sure no exposure has occurred, release it outdoors, away from people or pets.

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Obesity Among Low-Income Preschool Children in the U.S.

obesity in childhood
Height and weights are gathered during WIC clinic visits to calcu-late BMI percentiles


According to the 2009 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS) data, nearly one-third of the 3.7 million low-income children aged two to four years surveyed were obese or overweight, and 541,000 were obese. Overweight for children is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) at or above the 85th percentile. Obesity is defined as a BMI greater than the 95th percentile for age and gender per the 2000 CDC Growth Charts.

Health Risks associated with obesity in childhood includes:

Key Statistics

Cooper County WIC Data From 2008 - 2010
Children Age 2 - 5 Years

Year Healthy Weight Overweight Obese
2008 66% 17.81% 15.75%
2009 73% 14.86% 11.23%
2010 70.70% 19.70% 9.60%
obesity reports for cooper county missouri
Obesity trend data from Cooper County Schools is available on our website! Click here to see how your school compares with area schools.

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Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Updates

bats can have rabies
If you are pregnant or have a newborn, call Dorothy at 660-882-2626 to see if you are eligible to participate.

Subject: Enfamil Gentlease Can-Size Change

Enfamil Gentlease Can Size (powder) is changing from 12 oz. To 12.4 oz.

Timing: Depending on WIC vendor inventory levels, the 12.4 oz powder should start appearing on WIC vendor shelves sometime in mid August to early September 2011.

Call Dorothy Draffen at 660-882-2626 with any questions.

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