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Vampire bats are the stuff of nightmares in northeast Brazil, where locals are waking up to blood-soaked sheets and bite marks on their toes, heels and elbows.
Souza waited three weeks before seeking medical care — and by then it was already too late for doctors to administer a lifesaving vaccine. His death is the first recorded case of human rabies transmitted by a bat in Brazil in the past 13 years.
At least 40 others are being treated for the disease, health officials said. Within days of the fatality, residents living 400 miles away in Salvador reported a flurry of vampire bat attacks.
“I never felt any pain at all on both the nights I was bitten. But in my dreams, I did feel as if something had hooked itself onto my toe,” he said. “When I woke up in the morning, I found the bed was wet. It had been raining overnight and I thought water had dripped in. But it was my blood. It was such a shock,” He said.
“We have detected shifts in bat behavior and a worrying increase in the population in the area. We believe this is due to deforestation and the destruction of caves, which forces the bats to migrate to the cities,” he said.
Bats Are Terrorizing