"This case represents the first reported human death from a vampire bat rabies virus variant in the United States," said the article published Thursday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
If the animal was rabid, people could catch the disease from a bite or exposure to the bat’s saliva, reports AP.
Testing has revealed not only more positive samples of mosquitoes with West Nile virus in Chatham County but also a third species of mosquito carrying the virus.
Eighteen samples of mosquitoes collected from around the county came back positive Monday for a total of 162 positive samples in a dozen different sites this summer, said Henry Lewandowski, the director of the Chatham County Mosquito Control Commission.
In prior years the virus was found in only one species of mosquito in Chatham — the Southern house mosquito — but earlier this summer it was identified in the Asian tiger mosquito. While new to Chatham mosquitoes, the virus has previously been identified in these species elsewhere.
Mosquitoes are typically trapped and tested for the virus in batches, but at least two of the recent batches consisted of only one mosquito each.
Last week, state health officials confirmed the first human case of West Nile in Chatham County since 2006. The Chatham County Health Department is investigating a report of the virus being detected in blood donated by a county resident, said spokeswoman Sally Silbermann. Mosquito Control is spraying seven nights a week and treating catch basins where mosquitoes breed in dry weather. Residents need to avoid mosquitoes, Silbermann said.
“Can we prevent every mosquito from biting? The Asian tiger mosquito thrives around humans.