(Buffalo, Wyo.) Monday evening, was uneventful for the 23 year old lifelong Buffalo resident as he exited the back door of his house at approximately 8 PM and made his way through his back yard to his car all the while talking with his father on the phone. Upon nearing the car, the 23 year old felt something smack him in the back of the head. It turned out to be a bat and the uneventful evening turned into a nightmare.
While bats teeth and claws are so small that they normally do not draw blood, it can be difficult to detect if you have been bitten. Upon visiting with his neighbor, the 23 year old was informed that there were serious bat problems in their area on Carrington Street in Buffalo. The neighbor informed the young man that he had visited with Dr Schueler, who informed him that if you come into contact with a bat and feel that you have been bitten, scratched or even had saliva from the bat on you, you risk a chance of rabies. While the young man had no apparent wounds, there was definitely saliva left on the back of his head.
After a sleepless night, the young man contacted the Johnson County Clinic and was informed he needed to go to the ER as there is only a 24 hour window to begin the series of rabies shots once the attack has occurred. Rabies is life threatening and no chances are taken. Upon arriving at the ER, it was decided the young man would undergo the series of rabies shots. While they no longer give the shots in the stomach, it is a series of numerous shots that have to be given. Yesterday, the young man received 6 shots, one of which had to be given in the back of his head. The young man has three more rounds of shots to obtain before he has finished the series of rabies vaccines.
While the bat was not captured, it could not be tested for rabies. Anyone who has an encounter with a bat is encouraged to seek professional assistance. If you feel you have been clawed, scratched, bitten or even have bat saliva on you, it is important that you get medical attention within 24 hours.