Vampire Bats are Deadly

There may be no such things as vampires, but there are vampire bats. And they're deadly:

At least 38 Warao Indians have died in remote villages in Venezuela, and medical experts suspect an outbreak of rabies spread by bites from vampire bats. [...]

Outbreaks of rabies spread by vampire bats are a problem in various tropical areas of South America, including Brazil and Peru, Rupprecht said.

He said researchers suspect that in some cases environmental degradation — including mining, logging or dam construction projects — may also be contributing to rabies outbreaks.

"Vampire bats are very adaptable," Rupprecht said. And when their roosts are disrupted or their normal prey grow scarce, "Homo sapiens is a pretty easy meal."

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ge0jd_aFOR3NleqOfs00jLCASLRQD92EH3J80 - via Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine


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Martin Cruz Smith wrote a book called 'Nightwing' which told the story of a plague outbreak carried by vampire bats. He then went on to write 'Gorky Park'.
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That's rather misleading to say that. Vampire bats on their own are not deadly, and they are far from being the only carriers of rabies. In fact, bats in general are dangerous as carriers of rabies.

Which is sad because I love bats =(
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Well, to be fair: the bats per se are not deadly. The diseases they carry can be: but it's much the same with pretty much every animal.
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