Columns: No Margins, No Limits, No Kidding!
WHO LET THE BAT OUT OF THE BAG?
University study debunks bats as primary rabies vector but the death of a man bitten by a rabid vampire bat raises new fears of a human rabies vaccine.
March 16, 2011 | TheDogPress.com
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief
Are Americans at risk of rabid bat attacks or is it marketing hype on the human rabies vaccine? Biological weapons research? See Plum Island below...
Dr. Patricia Jordan, a leading veterinary vaccine authority, debunked fears generated by the rabid bat myth. Why do bats get the rap over rabies? Dr. Jordan explains, “I have talked to many bat conservationists and the bat bashing over rabies, even this new mutant form of rabies, is not the bat’s fault.”
She speculates, “I am also uncomfortable with Hillary Koprowski, generally referred to as a "commercial scientist", who is said to be teasing out of nature the most lethal strain of rabies yet - from the silver haired bat strain, one with 98% lethality. A commercial scientist developing this kind of microbe can only be working for a program to find weapons of mass destruction or something for biological warfare. I believe blaming the bat for the sudden appearance of a laboratory-created strain of rabies is designed to confuse the public as to the real source of this threat. The bat is not the greatest threat to our health and safety.”
“This is similar to the recent DANGER warnings about sleeping with your pets and the diseases they will spread to you.” We can see Dr. Jordan’s smile as she continues, “A little research shows they were actually promotions to get you to take your animals to the vets... for what? vaccines? drugs? chemicals and toxins to apply to them for parasite control?”
Dr. Jordan is right. For every crisis there is a solution and for every product, we've learned to generate crisis. Swine flu vaccine is but one example. We were inundated with warnings and video clips of people in Japan wearing face masks. The plague never materialized but people got sick from the vaccines... Are we now seeing the beginning of a subtle "nudge" towards rushing to get human rabies vaccine to protect ourselves from rabid vampire bats?
We might be better protected by simply avoiding the places where bats sleep and marketers convene. Surfers are frequently bitten by sharks lurking just below the surface, so we caution against taking rabies advice from anyone who stands to profit by selling rabies vaccine.
In fact, I’ll bet a shark against your leg that you’ll find no independent, scientific study (i.e. not vaccine manufacturer-related) that can medically substantiate having repeated rabies vaccinations. In fact: Americans are more likely to be bitten by a shark than by a rabid animal!
In August of 2010 The rabid vampire bat story received media attention as the FIRST vampire bat rabies death in the U.S. Left out of most reports was this fact: the mother of the 19 year old Mexican migrant worker said he was was bitten in July - in his native town of Michoacan, Mexico. He left shortly after that to pick sugar cane in Louisiana. His death was tragic but would not have been newsworthy in the Latin countries.
The CDC confirmed the migrant worker had been infected by a vampire bat. "Spinal fluid samples confirmed he was infected by a vampire bat rabies virus variant" shouted newscasters, quoting the CDC (Sorry, this page is no longer available, either it was removed or changed; http://topics.breitbart.com/CDC). So why did American media react as though the Black Plague had just erupted? A human interest story or an overblown, profit motivated hullabaloo backed by vaccine makers?
While we can't argue the facts, and the poor man did die, a University of Calgary study, published in the Journal of Wildlife Disease, disputes the notion that bats are riddled with rabies or even that they are a primary rabies vector.
"It's completely not true," said Brandon Klug, a graduate student and the lead author of the paper. "They're just all negative stigmas that have been passed down." The study concludes that “the number of bats with the disease is closer to one per cent -- regardless of species or where the bats roost. That's compared to the 10 per cent figure indicated in previous studies.” In all, the study covered over 50 years and over 50,000 North American bats.
“Rabies rates for bats has been over-estimated. It's also the first time such a rigorous literature review has been completed on this topic," said co-author Dr. Robert Barclay, biological science professor and head of the U of C's department of biological sciences. So what is the rate of bat-inflicted rabies?
The answer is that blood-sucking vampire bats are nothing more than the premise for horror movies. A bat’s flight radar is so effective that any physical encounter never occur unless a human stumbled into the bat’s daytime roost.
Time for an understanding of bat behavior and physiology. In a 1998 study of 7,962 reported animal rabies cases in the United States and Puerto Rico, rabid raccoons accounted for 44% of cases, skunk rabies 28.5% percent, and bat rabies only 12.5% with fox rabies at 5.5%. Rabid dog or cat bites were not statistically noteworthy.
Wikipedia reports “an estimated 55,000 human deaths annually from rabies worldwide, with about 31,000 in Asia and 24,000 in Africa.” From Louis Pasteur’s first human rabies vaccine in 1885 to the genetically engineered rabies vaccine of today, vaccines have successfully prevented horrible diseases, especially in under-developed nations.
The frequency with which rabies vaccine should given is what is disputed by veterinary authorities. See links below.
As Dr. Jordan points out, vaccine development, often related to germ warfare research, can and has unleashed a host of human health assailants. Given the questions surrounding the sudden emergence of Lymes Disease in the human and canine population, watchdog ears perk up with news that the government is now researching a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine.
So the bat is out of the bag. Vaccines are of major interest to germ and biochemical warfare researchers.
We live in an over-populated, unstable world. It would be wise not to rush your kids to get a rabies vaccination when it comes on the market. Instead, get instant information ii Vaccine Induced Disease and for kicks, learn about Veterinary Marketing Conventions