BAT FLU

Bat flu describes influenza A viruses identified in bats. When researchers from the Universidad del Valle and CDC did a study on “small yellow-shouldered bats” in Guatemala in 2009 and 2010, they found the first cases of bat flu there. In Central and South America, numerous species of bats have since been found to carry the bat flu virus.

For these viruses to readily infect and proliferate among humans, they would need to go through considerable alterations. The species of bats that are now thought to carry the bat flu are widespread in Central and South America but are not endemic to the continental United States.

SYMPTOMS

The following are some of the typical signs of bat flu:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness
  • Chest discomfort
  • Muscle pain

Moreover, joint pain and a rash might also occur in certain individuals. 

If you get flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with bat feces, get in touch with your doctor immediately, especially if your immune system is compromised.

DIAGNOSIS

A doctor will probably ask about a patient’s symptoms and perform a physical examination if they seek medical attention for flu-related symptoms. A throat swab may also be taken by the doctor for testing.

Although findings from the quick influenza diagnostic test can be obtained in 10–15 minutes, they might not be reliable. It may take longer for the findings of other, more accurate testing procedures. 

Since certain symptoms of the flu and a bad cold are similar, people sometimes misunderstand them. So, in order to avoid serious complications, it is always essential to see your healthcare provider for a precise diagnosis. 

TREATMENT

If you get the bat flu, taking antiviral drugs for influenza may be an alternative for treatment. When used immediately, such as between one and two days after the emergence of symptoms, antiviral drugs work best.

Contact your physician as soon as possible if you have flu symptoms and are more prone to suffer serious consequences from the illness. Those who are more at risk for flu complications include young children, those over 65, expectant women, and people with certain medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, or diabetes.

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