When I read in the Korea Herald that four Peruvian children had died from vampire bat attacks, I figured it was another example of bad reporting. However, it appears the report is correct although the bats are not the ultimate cause of death:
Rabid vampire bats have attacked more than 500 indigenous people in Peru’s Amazon, according to foreign news reports.
At least four children are believed to have died in an outbreak of the disease, the Peruvian Health Ministry said Sunday.
Rabies. Those poor bastards.
From CBS News:
The authorities are trying to battle an outbreak of rabies spread by the bat bites, and have given vaccines to more than 500 people attacked by the bloodsucking mammals.
I gotta say, I learned a lot in preparing this short post. Mostly, I learned, once again, not to jump to conclusions. Much to my surprise, I might not, in fact, be smarter than everyone writing this story.
As my second example, I thought vaccines only work if given before infection. In this case, if given before being bitten. Apparently not (From the CDC):
Rabies vaccine is given to people at high risk of rabies to protect them if they are exposed. It can also prevent the disease if it is given to a person after they have been exposed.
I was also surprised that a vaccine actually existed for rabies. I had thought treatment was entirely post-infection.