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Archive for April 2014

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The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Experts say downtown home to 70,000 bats

By BETH FOLEY
PALESTINE — Palestine residents can lay claim to being No. 1 — in bats.

A pair of bat eradication experts told city officials, downtown business owners and residents at a meeting at City Hall Tuesday afternoon that they estimated between 70,000-90,000 Mexican freetail bats have taken up residence in at least 28 downtown buildings.

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Bats and Rabies

Rabies is a preventable viral infection of the central nervous system in mammals. The virus is typically transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. People can, in rare instances, contract rabies if infectious material, such as saliva, from a rabid animal gets into their eyes, nose, mouth or a wound. You cannot get rabies from just seeing a bat, from simply being in a room with a bat or from contact with bat guano (feces), urine or blood. And the vast majority of bats do not have rabies. Read more
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Bats and Histoplasmosis

Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease caused by a fungus that grows in soil enriched by animal droppings, including those from bats. Ninety percent of all reported cases in humans come from the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and adjacent areas where warm, humid conditions favor fungal growth. The disease is rare or nonexistent in most of Canada and in the far northern and western United States. The majority of cases are asymptomatic or involve flu-like symptoms, though some individuals become seriously ill, especially if exposed to large quantities of spore-laden dust. Read more