Photo: Rabied Bats Killing Children in Peru
The rural province of La Convención in Peru, near the tourist area of Cusco, has seen six children killed by bats.
The children are Machiguenga Indian who are indigenous to the Amazon Basin jungle of Peru and tend to live in agriculturally rich areas near the Amazon. Reports are now coming out that several weeks ago children starting dying after contracting rabies from bat bites, starting on May 8th, while 13 adults were in critical condition from bites.
Unfortunately bat bites are not unusual in the area with many homes not having enough protective windows to keep bats out. Children also tend to be bitten more because bats prefer the thinner skin of youngsters. If bats can’t find sufficient food they will seek out the blood from humans preferably children.
It has been 15 years since rabies were found in bats in the area of Cusco. The case of bat rabies here is in stark contrast to the declining cases of rabies from local dogs.