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Signs of a Bat Bite

By Jennifer Campbell ; Updated July 27, 2017

Bat bites typically appear as two small puncture wounds, approximately one centimeter apart depending on the specie of bat, and can occur so quickly they go unnoticed until irritation transpires. Because bats are known carriers of rabies, non-visual signs of their bites include the virus’ symptoms. Although some rabies symptoms are similar to those of more common ailments such as the flu, they are often accompanied by more discernible signs of a bat bite such as neurological and bite site issues.

Site Indicators

Indicators at the site of the bat bite can be nearly undetectable or severely irritating. Symptoms include slight numbness or pain, open clean looking cuts or bleeding puncture wounds, bruising and other irritations. Because of their speedy occurrence bat bites can be easily mistaken for a spider bite, bee sting or thorn puncture.


Although only 5 to 10 percent of bats in some residential areas tested positive for rabies as stated by Benton Franklin Health District, it’s important to handle encountered bats as though they are infected. Rabies can cause severe illness and death in both humans and animals. According to Science Daily, infected bats caused 92 percent of human deaths by rabies in the United States from 1992 to 2002.

Early Signs of Rabies

Some of the early signs of rabies by bat bite are similar to flu symptoms and include fever, headache and nose and throat issues. Other signs include general melancholy, depression or mental exhaustion.

Progressing Rabies

According to CDC, as rabies progresses, anxiety, insomnia, confusion and even paralysis are common. An infected individual might also be easily agitated or in a constant irritated state. Other symptoms include difficulty swallowing, following with a fear of drinking liquids. From this, insatiable thirst or excessive salivation can occur.

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