A picture showing Desmodus rotundus

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Desmodus rotundus is likely one of the species of bats that may be present in Chile however the bats present in individuals’s properties have often been smaller

Chile’s well being authorities have warned individuals to be cautious of an growing variety of bats showing in properties throughout the nation.

The Institute for Public Well being mentioned it had been despatched 70 bats inside the first week of January, three of which examined optimistic for rabies.

It mentioned that whereas bats are lively in spring and summer time, there appeared to be extra this January attributable to a warmth wave.

Well being officers mentioned their presence in homes was “doubtlessly dangerous”.

There are 11 species of bats in Chile, a few of which reside very near people, the Institute of Well being mentioned in a statement [in Spanish] on its website.

In 1996, a seven-year-old boy died within the metropolis of Rancagua after contracting rabies from a bat chunk.


  • Rabies is a viral an infection that impacts the nervous system
  • Zoonotic illness – one handed on to people from animals
  • Transmitted through saliva from contaminated animals – mostly canines
  • Greater than 59,000 instances a 12 months worldwide, most in south and south-east Asia

The newest case of rabies in a human in Chile was in 2013, however that point the younger man survived.

Veronica Yung of the rabies division on the Institute for Public Well being suggested individuals who discovered bats inside their properties to contact the authorities in order that the animals could be caught and despatched for testing.

In the event that they take a look at unfavourable, they’re launched in an applicable setting.

Ms Yung mentioned that in instances wherein the authorities have been unavailable, individuals ought to use thick latex gloves and try and catch the animals beneath a container with out touching them.

She mentioned that the institute had obtained a rising variety of calls from individuals who had discovered bats inside their properties.

There have been even studies of bats being discovered throughout daytime, which she mentioned was an “anomaly” as they’re sometimes lively at night time.

Chilean media are talking of “a plague” of bats based mostly on the variety of calls made to the authorities and the truth that the Institute for Public Well being has been despatched greater than double the weekly common of bats for rabies testing in comparison with 2016.

Bats are protected beneath Chilean legislation and it’s prohibited to hunt or kill them.