Public Health News for August 2011
|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
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:
- First, to prevent human exposure to rabies by education
- Second, to prevent the disease by anti-rabies treatment if exposure occurs.
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:
- The child’s infection with rabies was most likely the result of a bat bite. Children sleep heavily and may not awaken from the presence of a small bat. (A bat bite can be superficial and not easily noticed.)
- The bat was behaving abnormally. Instead of hiding, the bat was making unusual noises and was having difficulty flying. This strange behavior should have led to a strong suspicion of rabies.
- If the bat had been submitted for rabies testing, a positive test would have led to life-saving anti-rabies treatment.
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.
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:
- A bat that is active by day.
- A bat found in a place where bats are not usually seen (for example, in a room in your home or on the lawn).
- A bat that is unable to fly is far more likely than others to be rabid. Such bats are often the most easily approached.
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:
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Get medical advice immediately.
- 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.
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:
- Leather work gloves (put them on)
- Small box or coffee can
Piece of cardboard
- When the bat lands, approach it slowly, while wearing the gloves, and place the box or coffee can over it.
- Slide the cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside.
- Tape the cardboard to the container securely.
- 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.
- If a bat is in your home and you are sure no exposure has occurred, release it outdoors, away from people or pets.
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:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- 1 of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese
- 37.4% of counties with at least 100 records in the PedNSS have childhood obesity rates exceeding 15%.
- 5.5% of such counties have childhood obesity rates exceeding 20%
- In 2009, American Indian or Alaska Native children had the highest prevalence of obesity (20.7%), followed by Hispanic (17.9%), non-Hispanic white (12.3%), non-Hispanic black (11.9%), and Asian /Pacific Islander (11.9%) children. The only increase in obesity rates since 2004 occurred among American Indian or Alaska Native children (1.7% increase).
- County obesity rates are variable within states. Even states with the lowest prevalence of obesity have counties where many low-income children are obese and at risk for chronic disease.
Subject: Enfamil Gentlease Can-Size Change
Enfamil Gentlease Can Size (powder) is changing from 12 oz. To 12.4 oz.
- Checks with 12.4 oz or 12 oz—allows participants to purchase Enfamil Gen-tlease powder in 12 oz. Cans or 12.4 oz. cans. The quantity printed on the WIC check is based on the new size.
- Checks with 12 oz. can - When Gentlease in the old can (12 oz.) is not available at a WIC vendor, participants can purchase new cans (12.4 oz.) of Gentlease in the amounts printed on their WIC checks. Purchasing a combination of 12 oz cans and 12.4 oz cans in the amounts printed on the WIC check is acceptable.
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.